This policy reflect the main UK legislation governing data protection is the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA) which replaced the 1998 version. The DPA reflects the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) which came into effect in the UK on 25th May 2018.
MERSEN UK is committed to being transparent about how it collects and uses the personal data of its workforce, and to meeting its data protection obligations. This policy sets out the company's commitment to data protection, and individual rights and obligations in relation to personal data.
This policy applies to the personal data of Mersen UK job applicants, employees, workers, contractors, volunteers, interns, apprentices and former employees, referred to as HR-related personal data. This policy does not apply to the personal data of clients or other personal data processed for business purposes.
The company has not appointed a data protection officer. Despite this, it is the role of every employee to ensure that this policy is adhered to. Questions about this policy, or requests for further information, should be directed to the HR Department.
"Personal data" is any information that relates to an individual who can be identified from that information. Processing is any use that is made of data, including collecting, storing, amending, disclosing or destroying it.
"Special categories of personal data" means information about an individual's racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, religious or philosophical beliefs, trade union membership, health, sex life or sexual orientation and biometric data.
“Sensitive personal data” such as Health information should only be held with explicit consent from the individual. Processing medical records may be permissible in certain circumstances, for example assessing working capacity or confirming diagnoses.
"Criminal records data" means information about an individual's criminal convictions and offences, and information relating to criminal allegations and proceedings.
Data protection principles
The company processes HR-related personal data in accordance with the following data protection principles:
- The company processes personal data lawfully, fairly and in a transparent manner.
- The company collects personal data only for specified, explicit and legitimate purposes.
- The company processes personal data only where it is adequate, relevant and limited to what is necessary for the purposes of processing.
- The company keeps accurate personal data and takes all reasonable steps to ensure that inaccurate personal data is rectified or deleted without delay.
- The company keeps personal data only for the period necessary for processing.
- The company adopts appropriate measures to make sure that personal data is secure, and protected against unauthorised or unlawful processing, and accidental loss, destruction or damage
The company tells individuals the reasons for processing their personal data, how it uses such data and the legal basis for processing in its privacy notices. It will not process personal data of individuals for other reasons.
Where the company processes special categories of personal data or criminal records data to perform obligations or to exercise rights in employment law, this is done in accordance with a policy on special categories of data and criminal records data.
The company will update HR-related personal data promptly if an individual advises that his/her information has changed or is inaccurate.
Personal data gathered during the [employment, worker, contractor or volunteer relationship, or apprenticeship or internship] is held in the individual's personnel file (in hard copy or electronic format, or both), and on HR systems.
The periods for which the company holds HR-related personal data are contained in its privacy notices to individuals.
The company keeps a record of its processing activities in respect of HR-related personal data in accordance with the requirements of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
As a data subject, individuals have a number of rights in relation to their personal data.
Subject access requests
Individuals have the right to make a subject access request. If an individual makes a subject access request, the company will tell him/her:
- whether or not his/her data is processed and if so why, the categories of personal data concerned and the source of the data if it is not collected from the individual;
- to whom his/her data is or may be disclosed, including to recipients located outside the United Kingdom (UK) and the safeguards that apply to such transfers;
- for how long his/her personal data is stored (or how that period is decided);
- his/her rights to rectification or erasure of data, or to restrict or object to processing;
- his/her right to complain to the Information Commissioner if he/she thinks the company has failed to comply with his/her data protection rights; and
- whether or not the company carries out automated decision-making and the logic involved in any such decision-making.
The company will also provide the individual with a copy of the personal data undergoing processing. This will normally be in electronic form if the individual has made a request electronically, unless he/she agrees otherwise.
If the individual requires additional copies, the company will charge a fee, which will be based on the administrative cost to the company of providing the additional copies.
To make a subject access request, the individual should send the request to HR. The company may need to ask for proof of identification before the request can be processed. The company will inform the individual if it needs to verify his/her identity and the documents it requires.
The company will normally respond to a request within a period of one month from the date it is received. In some cases, such as where the company processes large amounts of the individual's data, it may respond within three months of the date the request is received. The company will write to the individual within one month of receiving the original request to tell him/her if this is the case.
If a subject access request is manifestly unfounded or excessive, the company is not obliged to comply with it. Alternatively, the company can agree to respond but will charge a fee, which will be based on the administrative cost of responding to the request. A subject access request is likely to be manifestly unfounded or excessive where it repeats a request to which the company has already responded. If an individual submits a request that is unfounded or excessive, the company will notify him/her that this is the case and whether or not it will respond to it.
Individuals have a number of other rights in relation to their personal data. They can require the company to:
- rectify inaccurate data;
- stop processing or erase data that is no longer necessary for the purposes of processing;
- stop processing or erase data if the individual's interests override the company's legitimate grounds for processing data (where the company relies on its legitimate interests as a reason for processing data);
- stop processing or erase data if processing is unlawful; and
- stop processing data for a period if data is inaccurate or if there is a dispute about whether or not the individual's interests override the company's legitimate grounds for processing data.
To ask the company to take any of these steps, the individual should send the request to the HR department.
The company takes the security of HR-related personal data seriously. The company has internal policies and controls in place to protect personal data against loss, accidental destruction, misuse or disclosure, and to ensure that data is not accessed, except by employees in the proper performance of their duties. More information on this subject can be found from the HR department.
Where the company engages third parties to process personal data on its behalf, such parties 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.
Some of the processing that the company carries out may result in risks to privacy. Where processing would result in a high risk to individual's rights and freedoms, the company will carry out a data protection impact assessment to determine the necessity and proportionality of processing. This will include considering the purposes for which the activity is carried out, the risks for individuals and the measures that can be put in place to mitigate those risks.
If the company discovers that there has been a breach of HR-related personal data that poses a risk to the rights and freedoms of individuals, it will report it to the Information Commissioner within 72 hours of discovery. The company will record all data breaches regardless of their effect.
If the breach is likely to result in a high risk to the rights and freedoms of individuals, it will tell affected individuals that there has been a breach and provide them with information about its likely consequences and the mitigation measures it has taken.
International data transfers
HR-related personal data may be transferred to countries outside the UK to fulfil a contractual obligation. Data is transferred outside the UK on the basis of a declaration of adequacy, meaning the data will be transferred and held securely.
Individuals are responsible for helping the company keep their personal data up to date. Individuals should let the company know if data provided to the company changes, for example if an individual moves house or changes his/her bank details.
Individuals may have access to the personal data of other individuals and of our customers and clients in the course of their employment, contract, volunteer period, internship or apprenticeship. Where this is the case, the company relies on individuals to help meet its data protection obligations to staff, customers and clients.
Individuals who have access to personal data are required:
- to access only data that they have authority to access and only for authorised purposes;
- not to disclose data except to individuals (whether inside or outside the company) who have appropriate authorisation;
- to keep data secure (for example by complying with rules on access to premises, computer access, including password protection, and secure file storage and destruction);
- not to remove personal data, or devices containing or that can be used to access personal data, from the company's premises without adopting appropriate security measures (such as encryption or password protection) to secure the data and the device; and
- not to store personal data on local drives or on personal devices that are used for work purposes.
Further information about this may be requested from the HR department.
Failing to observe these requirements may amount to a disciplinary offence, which will be dealt with under the company's disciplinary procedure. Significant or deliberate breaches of this policy, such as accessing employee or customer data without authorisation or a legitimate reason to do so, may constitute gross misconduct and could lead to dismissal without notice.
The right to make a complaint
In the UK, if an employee believes there has been a data breach, they have the right to make a complaint to the Information Commissioners Office https://ico.org.uk/make-a-complaint/ or by calling their helpline on 0303 123 1113.
The Company will also record and retain a Data Breach Register which will record any data breaches and the appropriate action taken to rectify any breaches and that may prevent any future reoccurrences. This register will be maintained by the HR Department.
The company will provide training to all individuals about their data protection responsibilities as part of the induction process and at regular intervals thereafter.
Individuals whose roles require regular access to personal data, or who are responsible for implementing this policy or responding to subject access requests under this policy, will receive additional training to help them understand their duties and how to comply with them.
Other relevant Policies
This UK policy should be read in accordance with the Mersen Personal Data Protection Charter and GDPR Employee Guide Flyer, which can be found on Mersen One or copies can be obtained from your HR department.
Additionally Mersen have privacy notices for employees, workers and contractors, and one for candidates, should you require a copy of these policies please contact your HR Department.