Under the General Data Protection Regulation and Data Protection Act 2018, organisations are obliged to be transparent about how they collect and use personal information in relation to existing and prospective employees.  This Privacy Notice explains how we use your information including your rights under the new legislation.

As part of any recruitment process, Dorset Council collects and processes personal data relating to job applicants.  We have a Legal Obligation that enables us to process information about you.

Information we collect about you during application stage and/or if you are invited to attend for interview

We collect and process a range of information about you. This includes:

  • your name, address, contact details (including email address and telephone number) and date of birth
  • details of your education, qualifications, skills, experience, referees, training and employment history, including start and end dates, with previous employers
  • information about your remuneration
  • national insurance number
  • information about your marital status
  • information about your nationality and entitlement to work in the UK
  • information about your criminal record if applicable
  • information about medical or health conditions, including whether or not you have a disability for which we need to make reasonable adjustments during the recruitment process
  • equal opportunities monitoring information, including information about your gender, ethnic origin, sexual orientation, health and religion or belief (please note that this special category data section is not shared with the recruiting line manager or interview panel at any stage)

We collect this information in a variety of ways. For example, data is collected through application forms; obtained from your passport or other identity documents such as your driving licence; from qualification certificates; from correspondence with you; or through interviews, meetings or other assessments (including assessment days, tests, occupational personality profile questionnaires).

Schools will conduct online searches of shortlisted candidates. This check will be part of a safeguarding check, and the search will purely be based on whether an individual is suitable to work with children. All aspects of social media and internet searches will be conducted. As care must be taken to avoid unconscious bias and any risk of discrimination, a person who will not sit on the appointment panel will conduct the searches and will only share information if and when findings are relevant and of concern.

Information we collect about you if you are successfully appointed

If we make a conditional offer of employment to you, we will ask for information so that we can carry out pre-employment checks. You must successfully complete pre-employment checks before employment can be confirmed. We are required to confirm the identity of our employees and their right to work in the United Kingdom in accordance with sections 15 to 25 of the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006 (the 2006 Act) and sections 24 and 24B of the Immigration Act 1971.

In addition to the personal data that we collect and process during the recruitment procedure, we also collect and process a range of information about the successful applicant when we begin the appointment procedure, which includes:

  • proof of your identity (you will need to provide original documents of which we will take copies)
  • proof of your qualifications (you will need to provide original documents of which we will take copies)
  • details of your bank account, your tax declaration and/or P45 details
  • information regarding your job performance with previous employers
  • details of any disciplinary or grievance procedures in which you have been involved, including any warnings issued to you (if applicable)
  • sickness absence;
  • information about medical or health conditions, including whether or not you have a disability for which we need to make reasonable adjustments (this is to establish your fitness to work)
  • information about your remuneration, including entitlement to benefits such as pensions
  • information about your next of kin, dependents and emergency contacts

We collect this information in a variety of ways. For example, data is collected through application forms; obtained from your passport or other identity documents such as your driving licence; through interviews, meetings or other assessments; from forms completed by you at the start of or during employment; or from correspondence with you.

We also collect personal data about you from third parties, such as references supplied by former employers, information from employment background check providers, information relating to medical clearance and information from criminal records checks permitted by law. Where a post requires a criminal records check from the Disclosure and Barring Service or a Police Check, this will be stipulated in the advertisement.

Occupational Health

If you are invited to interview, we will provide you with a medical questionnaire. If we make you a conditional offer, we will ask that you complete this questionnaire and return it to us in a sealed envelope marked ‘Occupational Health’. This will then be forwarded unopened to the Occupational Health Team and will help to determine if you are fit to undertake the work that you have been offered, advise if any adjustments are needed to the working environment or, on rare occasions, determine that you are currently unfit for the specific post applied for.

The information you provide will be held by the Council’s Occupational Health Team who will provide the hiring manager with a fit to work confirmation email or a report with recommendations. You are able to request to see the report before it is sent to them. If you decline for the hiring manager to see it, then this may affect your job offer. If an Occupational Health assessment is required, this is likely to be carried out by the Council’s external Occupational Health provider and you would be advised accordingly.

Why we process personal data

We need to process your personal data to take steps at your request prior to entering into a contract with you. For successful applicants, we need to process your personal data to enter into a contract with you.

We also need to process your data to ensure that we are complying with our Legal Obligations. For example, we are required to check a successful applicant’s eligibility to work in the UK before employment starts. For certain positions, we are obliged to seek information about criminal convictions and offences. Where we seek this information, we do so because it is necessary for us to carry out our obligations and exercise specific rights in relation to employment and to ensure that individuals are permitted to undertake the role in question.

These Legal Obligations enable us to process personal data during the recruitment process and for keeping records of the process.

Processing data from job applicants allows us to:

  • manage the recruitment process
  • assess and confirm a candidate’s suitability for employment and decide to whom to offer a job
  • obtain occupational health advice, to ensure that we comply with duties in relation to individuals with disabilities and meet our obligations under health and safety law
  • respond to and defend against legal claims
  • maintain and promote equality in the workplace
  • contact you to seek feedback on our recruitment and selection process
  • we may use your details to contact you to seek feedback on our recruitment and selection process

Special Category data, what is is and why we process it

Special Category data is any information relating to the following:

  • race
  • ethnic origin
  • political or Religious affiliations
  • trade union membership
  • genetic information
  • biometrics (where used for ID purposes)
  • health
  • sex life
  • sexual orientation

Some Special Category data is processed to carry out employment law obligations (such as those in relation to applicants with disabilities and for health and safety purposes).

We process health information if we need to make a reasonable adjustment to the recruitment process for candidates who have a disability. This is to carry out our obligations and exercise specific rights in relation to employment.

Where we process other special categories of personal data, such as information relating to ethnic origin, sexual orientation, health or religion or belief, this is done for the purposes of equal opportunities monitoring.

Who we share your data with and why

The information you provide during the recruitment process will only be used for the purpose of progressing your application or to fulfil legal or regulatory requirements if necessary.

Your personal information will be shared internally for the purposes of the recruitment exercise, for example with the HR & OD team. Application forms (excluding the Equal Opportunities data section) will also be shared with the recruiting line manager and interview panel and may be accessible by other service level managers.

We will not share your data with third parties, unless your application for employment is successful and we make you an offer of employment. We will then share your data with former employers to obtain pre-employment references for you; employment background check providers to obtain necessary background checks; and the Disclosure and Barring Service / Police to obtain necessary criminal records checks. In those circumstances, the data will be subject to confidentiality arrangements.

We will not transfer your data to countries outside of the European Economic Area. We will not share your personal data with any third parties for marketing purposes.

The personal information we have collected from you will be shared with Cifas who will use it to prevent fraud, other unlawful or dishonest conduct, malpractice, and other seriously improper conduct. If any of these are detected you could be refused certain services or employment. Your personal information will also be used to verify your identity. Find out more details about how your information will be used by us and Cifas, and your data protection rights.

Use of Data Processors

Data processors are third parties who provide elements of our recruitment service on our behalf.  We have contracts in place with our data processors. This mean that they cannot do anything with your personal data unless we have instructed them to do so. They will not share your personal data with any organisation apart from us. They will hold it securely and retain it for the agreed retention period.  If you use our online recruitment system, your personal data will be collected by a data processor on our behalf.

How we store your data

The information we collect about you is held securely by us and/or our data processors (whether the information is in electronic or physical format) in a range of different places, including in the HR management systems and in other restricted access IT systems. For successful applicants, your personal information will be stored within your employee personal file.

How we protect your data

We take the security of your personal data seriously. We have internal policies and controls in place to safeguard against unlawful access or use of your information. We have restricted access controls to systems that hold your data to which only relevant employees have access. We employ a range of security techniques including but not limited to, encryption, passwords, monitoring and other access controls to ensure that your data is not lost, accidentally destroyed, misused or wrongfully shared.  We also have procedures in place to deal with Data Breach incidents, for example if an unauthorised person accesses or discloses your information to unintended recipients.

Where we engage third parties to process personal data on our behalf, contracts are drawn up requiring third parties to safeguard personal information. They are under a duty of confidentiality and are obliged to implement appropriate technical and organisational measures to ensure the security of data is guaranteed.

How long we keep data

If your application for employment is successful, the information and personal data gathered during the recruitment process will be transferred to your employee personal file and retained for the duration of your employment. This includes your criminal records declaration, fitness to work, records of any security checks and references. The periods for which your data will be held will be provided to you in a new privacy notice.

If your application for employment is unsuccessful, we will hold your application, personal data and any information generated through the interview process (for example, interview notes) for a period of up to 9 months after the closure of the campaign. At the end of that period, your data will be deleted or destroyed.

The recruitment system will provide us with anonymised management information about our recruitment campaigns, which tells us about the effectiveness of these campaigns, eg, from which source did we receive the most candidates, equal opportunities information for monitoring purposes. This anonymised data will be retained indefinitely.

Jobseekers can remove their information from the recruitment system at any time by using the password protected delete facility on their account dashboard menu. To cater for account holders who simply abandon their accounts, our recruitment system runs a housekeeping routine that sends emails to account holders shortly before the anniversary of the creation of the account, advising that their account will be deleted if the jobseeker does not explicitly confirm the continuance of their account.  If the account holder does not confirm that they wish the account to remain active, the entire account will be deleted including all personal data and education/employment histories.

Your rights in relation to your personal data

As a data subject, you have a number of rights under the Data Protection Act 2018.  You can:

  • access and obtain a copy of your data on request
  • require us to change incorrect or incomplete data
  • require us to delete or stop processing your data, for example where the data is no longer necessary for the purposes of processing
  • object to the processing of your data where we are relying on our legitimate interests as the legal ground for processing data
  • ask us to stop processing data for a period if data is inaccurate or there is a dispute about whether or not your interests override our legitimate grounds for processing data

If you wish to exercise any of these rights, please contact the Data Protection Officer.

Further information relating to your rights under the General Data Protection Regulation can be found on the Information Commissioner’s Office website

If you believe that we have not complied with your data protection rights, you can complain to the Information Commissioner.

Choosing not to provide your personal data

We do not collect more information than we need to fulfil our stated purposes and will not retain it for longer than is necessary. You are under no statutory or contractual obligation to provide data to us during the recruitment process. However, if you do not provide the information, we may not be able to process your application properly or at all.

You are under no obligation to provide information for equal opportunities monitoring purposes and there are no consequences for your application if you choose not to provide such information.

Changes to this privacy notice

This privacy notice was published on 7 February 2019. There are no amendments since publication; when amendments are made to this document we will update this section. We recommend that you review this section from time to time so that you are aware of the latest version of this notice.

Different formats

If you would like this notice in another format (for example: audio, large print, braille) contact our Communications Team

Data Controller

Dorset Council
County Hall
Colliton Park

Tel: call customer services on 01305 221000