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Privacy notice for job applicants

Privacy notice for job applicants for Colchester Borough Council (CBC) and Colchester Commercial Holdings Limited (CCHL)

January 2021

Colchester Borough Council collects, holds and processes a considerable amount of information, including personal information relating to job applicants. We take the responsibility of holding personal information about you seriously and as such we make every effort to ensure that Data Protection legislation is adhered to.  The privacy notice below explains how the Council uses information about you and the ways in which we protect your privacy.

As part of any recruitment process, the council collects and processes personal data relating to job applicants for CBC and CCHL. The council is committed to being transparent about how it collects and uses that data and to meeting its data protection obligations.

What is personal data?

Personal data means any information relating to an identifiable person who can be directly or indirectly identified in particular by reference.

This definition provides for a wide range of personal identifiers to constitute personal data, including name, identification number, location data or online identifier, reflecting changes in technology and the way organisations collect information about people.

What information does the Council collect and for what purpose(s) is personal data used?

The council needs to process data to take steps at your request prior to entering into a contract with you. It also needs to process your data to enter into a contract with you.

In some cases, the council needs to process data to ensure that it is complying with its legal obligations. For example, we are required to check a successful applicant's eligibility to work in the UK before employment starts.

The council has a legitimate interest in processing personal data during the recruitment process and for keeping records of the process. Processing data from job applicants allows the council to manage the recruitment process, assess and confirm a candidate's suitability for employment and decide to whom to offer a job. The council may also need to process data from job applicants to respond to and defend against legal claims.

The council seeks information to determine if we can make reasonable adjustments 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 the council processes other special categories of data, such as information about ethnic origin, sexual orientation, health or religion or belief, this is for equal opportunities monitoring purposes.

For some eligible roles, the council is obliged to seek information about criminal convictions and offences. Where the council seeks this information, it does so because it is necessary for it to carry out its obligations and exercise specific rights in relation to employment.

The council will not use your personal data for any purpose other than the recruitment process for which you have applied

What level of personal data is used?

In order to fulfil the purposes above, the following data relating to you will be processed (where applicable to you):
  • your name, address and contact details, including email address and telephone numbers, National Insurance number;
  • details of your qualifications, skills, experience and employment history;
  • information about your current level of remuneration, including benefit entitlements;
  • whether or not you have a disability for which the council needs to make reasonable adjustments during the recruitment process;
  • whether or not you meet the criteria under the Guaranteed Interview Scheme as part of the Armed Forces Covenant;
  • information about your entitlement to work in the UK; and
  • equal opportunities monitoring information, including information about your ethnic origin, sexual orientation, health and religion or belief
The council collects this information in a variety of ways. For example, data might be contained in application forms, CVs or resumes, obtained from your passport or other identity documents, or collected through interviews or other forms of assessment, including online tests.

The council will also collect personal data about you from third parties, such as references supplied by former employers and information from criminal records checks for eligible roles. The council will seek information from third parties only once a job offer to you has been made.

Data will be stored in a range of different places, including on your application record, in HR management systems and on other IT systems (including email).

How long do we keep your personal information?

If your application for employment is unsuccessful, the council will hold your data on file for 1 year after the end of the relevant recruitment process. At the end of that period your data is deleted or destroyed.

Should you have registered for an on-line job applicant account, your individual account will remain valid until you choose to cancel it.

If your application for employment is successful, personal data gathered during the recruitment process will be transferred to your personnel file [and retained during your employment]. The periods for which your data will be held will be provided to you in a new privacy notice.

Who will we share your personal information with?

Your information will be shared internally for the purposes of the recruitment exercise. This includes members of the HR team, interviewers involved in the recruitment process and senior managers in the business area with a vacancy. 

The council will not share your data with third parties unless your application for employment is successful and we make you an offer of employment. The council will then share only essential data to ensure pre-employment checks can be conducted.  This will include:  former employers/other referees to obtain references for you, our Occupational Health provider to ascertain your fitness to work/required reasonable adjustments, employment background check providers to obtain necessary background checks and the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) to obtain necessary criminal records checks as appropriate.

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

What if you do not provide personal data?

You are under no statutory or contractual obligation to provide data to the council during the recruitment process. However, if you do not provide the information, the council may not be able to process your application properly or at all.

Your rights

The law gives you several rights to control which personal information is used by us and how it is used by us.

How you can access the information we hold about you

You are legally entitled to ask to see any records we hold about you. When we receive a request from you in writing, we must normally give you access to everything we have recorded about you. However, we will not let you see any parts of your record which contain:
  • confidential information about other people; or
  • information a care professional thinks will cause serious harm to your or someone else's physical or mental wellbeing; or
  • if we think that a crime may be prevented or found out by disclosing information to you.
This applies to paper and electronic records. If you ask us, we will also let others see your care record (except if one of the points above applies). To request to see the information we hold about you, please visit www.colchester.gov.uk/info or email info@colchester.gov.uk.

How you can request correction of inaccurate information

Whilst we try to ensure that any personal data it holds about you is correct, there may be situations where the information we hold is no longer accurate. If this is the case, please contact the department holding the information so that any errors can be investigated and corrected. You should let us know if you disagree with something written on your file. You may not always be able to change or remove the information. However, we will correct factual inaccuracies and may include your comments in the records.

You can ask to delete information (right to be forgotten).

In some circumstances you can ask for your personal information to be deleted, for example, in instances where:
  • your personal information is no longer needed for the reason why it was collected in the first place
  • you have removed your consent for us to use your information (where there is no other legal reason us to use it)
  • there is no legal reason for the use of your information
  • deleting the information is a legal requirement
  • your personal information has been shared with others, we'll do what we can to make sure those using your personal information comply with your request for erasure
Please note that we can't delete your information where:
  • we are required to have it by law
  • it is used for freedom of expression
  • it is used for public health purposes
  • it is for scientific or historical research or statistical purposes where it would make information unusable
  • it is necessary for a legal claim
You can ask to limit what we use your data for.

You have the right to ask us to restrict what we use your personal information for where:
  • you have identified inaccurate information, and have told us of it
  • we have no legal reason to use that information but you want us to restrict what we use it for rather than erase the information altogether
When information is restricted, it cannot be used other than to:
  • securely store the data
  • with your consent, to handle legal claims and protect others; or
  • where it is for important public interests of the UK
You have the right to ask us to stop using your personal information for any council service. However, if this request is approved this may cause delays or prevent us from delivering that service to you.

Where possible, we'll seek to comply with your request, but we may need to hold or use information because we are required to by law.

You can ask to have your information moved to another provider (data portability).

You have the right to ask for your personal information to be given back to you or another service provider of your choice in a commonly used format. This is called data portability. However, this only applies if we are using your personal information with consent (not if we are required to by law) and if decisions were made by a computer and not a human being.

Right to complain

You have the right to complain about any matter relating to our service, including how we use your data. In the first instance, please contact our Data Protection Officer by e-mailing DPO@colchester.gov.uk

How we keep information secure

We take appropriate steps to make sure we hold records about you (on paper and electronically) in a secure way, and we will only make them available to those who have a right to see them.  Our security includes:
  • encryption
  • access controls on systems
  • security training for all staff
Our Data Protection policy can be found below:

Data Protection Policy 

Where you can get advice

If you would like further information or if you have any concerns about how the Council is handling your employee personal data, these can be raised with the Council's Data Protection Officer.

Email: DPO@colchester.gov.uk
Write to: Data Protection Officer, ICT, Colchester Borough Council, Rowan House, 33 Sheepen Road, Colchester, CO3 3WG

For independent advice about data protection, privacy and data sharing issues, you can contact the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) at:

Information Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF.
Telephone: 0303 123 1113 (local rate) or 01625 545 745 if you prefer to use a national rate number.  
Alternatively, visit www.ico.org.uk or email casework@ico.org.uk.

Updates to this privacy notice

We will continually review and update this privacy notice to reflect changes in our processes and procedures, as well as to comply with changes in the law. When such changes occur, we will revise the "last updated" date at the bottom of this notice. We encourage you to periodically review this notice and to be informed of how Colchester Borough Council is protecting your information.
 

Page last reviewed: 5 January 2021

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