Dorset Council collects and processes personal data relating to its employees to manage the employment relationship. The council is committed to being transparent about how it collects and uses that data and to meeting its data protection obligations.

What information Dorset Council collects

The council collects and processes a range of information about you. This includes:

  • your name, address and contact details, including email address and telephone number, date of birth and gender
  • the terms and conditions of your employment
  • details of your qualifications, skills, experience and employment history, including start and end dates, with previous employers and with the county council
  • information about your remuneration, including entitlement to benefits such as pensions;
  • details of your bank account and national insurance number
  • information about your marital status, next of kin, dependants and emergency contacts;
  • information about your nationality and entitlement to work in the UK
  • information about your criminal record
  • details of your schedule (days of work and working hours) and attendance at work
  • details of leave entitlements and periods of absence, including holiday, sickness absence, family leave and sabbaticals, and the reasons for the leave
  • details of any disciplinary or grievance procedures in which you have been involved, including any warnings issued to you and related correspondence
  • assessments of your performance, including appraisals, performance reviews and ratings, training you have participated in, performance improvement plans and related correspondence
  • information about medical or health conditions, including whether or not you have declared a disability for which the county council needs to make reasonable adjustments
  • details to comply with health and safety legislation such as:
    • details of any work-related accident and incident an individual is involved in (including any report enabling us to fulfil requirements of RIDDOR) or first aid emergency if first aid is provided
    • details of any H&S training completed commensurate with position
    • details of any specific risk assessment (i.e. DSE, New and Expectant Mothers etc) that have been completed with individual
    • details of any hazardous situation reports made by individual in order to allow the authority to fully investigate
  • diversity monitoring information on a voluntary basis, including information about your age, health, gender identity, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation and may be extended to include other protected characteristics. In addition we also ask if you're a carer or part of the armed forces community to inform employee policy development and help us in working towards being an employer of choice

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

In some cases, the council collects personal data about you from third parties, such as references supplied by former employers, information from employment background check providers and information from criminal records checks permitted by law.  The council seeks information from third parties with your consent only.

Data is stored in a range of different places, including in your personnel file, in the county council's HR management systems and in other IT systems (including the council's email system).

Why the council processes personal data

The council needs to process data to enter into an employment contract with you and to meet its obligations under your employment contract. For example, it needs to process your data to provide you with an employment contract and to pay you in accordance with your employment contract.

In some cases, the council needs to process data to ensure that it is complying with its legal obligations. For example, it is required to check an employee's entitlement to work in the UK, to deduct tax, to comply with health and safety laws and to enable employees to take periods of leave to which they are entitled. For certain positions, it is necessary to carry out criminal records checks to ensure that individuals are permitted to undertake the role in question.

In other cases, the council has a legitimate interest in processing personal data before, during and after the end of the employment relationship. Processing employee data allows the council to:

  • run recruitment and promotion campaigns
  • maintain accurate and up-to-date employment records and contact details (including details of who to contact in the event of an emergency), and records of employee contractual and statutory rights
  • operate and keep a record of disciplinary and grievance processes, to ensure acceptable conduct within the workplace
  • operate and keep a record of employee performance and related processes, to plan for career development, and for succession planning and workforce management purposes
  • operate and keep a record of absence and absence management procedures, to allow effective workforce management and ensure that employees are receiving the pay or other benefits to which they are entitled
  • obtain occupational health advice, to ensure that it complies with duties in relation to individuals with disabilities, meet its obligations under health and safety law, and ensure that employees are receiving the pay or other benefits to which they are entitled
  • operate and keep a record of other types of leave (including maternity, paternity, adoption, parental and shared parental leave), to allow effective workforce management, to ensure that the county council complies with duties in relation to leave entitlement, and to ensure that employees are receiving the pay or other benefits to which they are entitled
  • ensure effective general HR and business administration - some personal data will be accessed by members of the IT teams to validate identity to ensure the security of system access is maintained
  • provide references on request for current or former employees
  • respond to and defend against legal claims; and
  • maintain and promote equality in the workplace

Where the council relies on legitimate interests as a reason for processing data, it has considered whether or not those interests are overridden by the rights and freedoms of employees or workers and has concluded that they are not.

Some special categories of personal data, such as information about health or medical conditions, is processed to carry out employment law obligations (such as those in relation to employees with disabilities and for health and safety purposes).  Information about trade union membership is processed to allow the council to operate check-off for union subscriptions for those joining under a deduction at source scheme. Information around union subscriptions joined by the employee outside of the county council processes will not be stored.

Where the council processes other special categories of personal data, such as information about ethnic origin, sexual orientation, health or religion or belief, this is done for the purposes of equal opportunities monitoring. Data that the council uses for these purposes is anonymised or is collected with the express consent of employees, which can be withdrawn at any time. The council requests employees to provide this information, however, it is not compulsory and there are no consequences of failing to do so.

Who has access to data

The personal information we've collected from you will be shared with Cifas who will use it to:

  • prevent fraud
  • other unlawful or dishonest conduct
  • malpractice
  • other seriously improper conduct

If any of these are detected you could be refused certain services or employment. 

We will also use your personal information to verify your identity. Find more details of how we and Cifas will use your data and your data protection rights on the Cifas website.

Your information will be shared internally, including with members of the HR and recruitment team (including payroll), your line manager, managers in the business area in which you work and IT staff if access to the data is necessary for performance of their roles.

The council shares your data with third parties in order to obtain pre-employment references from other employers, obtain employment background checks from third-party providers and obtain necessary criminal records checks from the Disclosure and Barring Service.

The council also shares your data with third parties that process data on its behalf, in connection with the provision of benefits and the provision of occupational health services, or where there is a statutory requirement to do so.

As a mandatory participant of the National Fraud Initiative (NFI), we sometimes share personal data with the NFI.  The purpose of this data sharing is to detect and prevent fraud.  The NFI may share the personal data we provide with other bodies or organisations including: HMRC, the Department for Work and Pensions and IT suppliers to the NFI.

Our legal basis for sharing the data is that the processing is necessary for the performance of a task carried out in the public interest.  Where we share special category data, our additional legal basis is that the processing is necessary for reasons of substantial public interest for the exercise of a function of the Crown, a Minister of the Crown, or a government department.

The personal data we provide will be used by the NFI to match records across different data sources in order to prevent and detect fraud.  More information about how the NFI use personal data

The council will not transfer your data to countries outside the European Economic Area.

How we protect data

The council takes the security of your data seriously. The county council has internal policies and controls in place to try to ensure that your data is not lost, accidentally destroyed, misused or disclosed, and is not accessed except by its employees in the performance of their duties.

Where the council engages third parties to process personal data on its behalf, they do so on the basis of written instructions, are under a duty of confidentiality and are obliged to implement appropriate technical and organisational measures to ensure the security of data.

How long we keep data for

The council will hold your personal data in line with statutory guidance and best practice. The periods for which your data is held after the end of employment are set out in schedules:

Your rights

As a data subject, you have a number of rights. You can:

  • access and obtain a copy of your data on request
  • require the council to change incorrect or incomplete data
  • require the council 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 the council is relying on its legitimate interests as the legal ground for processing; and
  • ask the council to stop processing data for a period if data is inaccurate or there is a dispute about whether or not your interests override the council's legitimate grounds for processing data

If you would like to exercise any of these rights, please contact our Data Protection Officer.  You can make a subject access request by completing the form for making a subject access request - this can be found at Data Protection.

If you believe that the county council has not complied with your data protection rights, you can complain to the Information Commissioner.

What happens if you do not provide personal data

You have some obligations under your employment contract to provide the council with data. In particular, you are required to report absences from work and may be required to provide information about disciplinary or other matters under the implied duty of good faith. You may also have to provide the council with data in order to exercise your statutory rights, such as in relation to statutory leave entitlements. Failing to provide the data may mean that you are unable to exercise your statutory rights.

Certain information, such as contact details, your right to work in the UK and payment details, must be provided to enable the council to enter a contract of employment with you. If you do not provide other information, this will hinder the council's ability to administer the rights and obligations arising because of the employment relationship efficiently.

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