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Data protection and its importance in the workplace

In the workplace, data protection plays a fundamental role in protecting customer or employee data from prying eyes. It is important that employers understand their responsibilities when it comes to ensuring they are adhering to various data protection laws and following proper procedure regarding data management and storage. If you are interested in data protection and its importance in the workplace, continue reading.

The role of consent

In today’s increasingly data-heavy landscape, employers must be able to prove that employees have been informed of the various purposes and uses of their personal data in the workplace as well as provided with an explanation of how it will be managed, stored, and treated both internally and externally. It is then up to the employee to consent to these guidelines with employers recording the grounds on which they will be processing employee data going forward.

The lawful processing of data

In the workplace, businesses may lawfully process personal data for a number of reasons so long as it is necessary to serve a purpose. If an employer can achieve the exact same results without processing personal data, for example, a lawful basis will not be established. In order to determine a lawful basis, this must be done before processing takes place and it must be thoroughly documented from start to finish. In addition, if the purpose for the processing changes, it may still be possible to continue so long as the new purpose is compatible with the original purpose and the lawful basis wasn’t consent.

The exception of job references

If your future employer has requested a job reference from your current employer, this may be possible unless a specific exception applies. It is, however, worth noting that the obligation largely depends on whether the request was made from the organisation providing the reference or the organisation seeking to obtain the reference. It is, after all, relatively impossible to provide a job reference that does not include personal data of any kind and the financial and care industries are generally obliged to provide a reference as opposed to basic factual information.

The need for a social media policy

It is no secret that today’s workplace is governed by the internet, email, and, perhaps most importantly, social media. In order to ensure personal data is protected, however, a growing number of businesses are recognising the need for implementing a social media policy. This is especially important considering the recent rise in hybrid and flexible working practices with employees working from the comfort of their own homes subject to several data implication and risks from shared devices.

Get in touch with our team

If you are a business owner or are just looking to strengthen your approach to data protection in your workplace, get in touch with our team of experts to find an answer to any question or query you may have and familiarise yourself with the ins and outs of employment law in today’s digital landscape.