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COVID-19 Staff privacy notice

This privacy notice is to make it easier to understand and provide you with more information about how Cheshire West and Chester Council may seek to collect and hold information about you in relation to the unprecedented challenges we are all facing during the Coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19).

Cheshire West and Chester Council may seek to collect and process your personal data in response to the recent outbreak of Coronavirus, which is above and beyond what would ordinarily be collected from its staff and their dependents, to ensure their safety and well-being.

Such information will be limited to what is proportionate and necessary, taking into account the latest guidance issued by the Government and health professionals, in order to manage and contain the virus. It will enable the Council to effectively fulfil our functions to keep people safe, put contingency plans into place to safeguard those vulnerable and aid business continuity.

Where the information is to be used to make organisational decisions, steps will be taken to anonymise the data and general statistics/numbers used, wherever possible.

What personal data is being collected?

Personal data is being collected to enable the Council to identify any staff (or those closely linked to staff/dependents) who are in any of the high-risk categories and would be considered vulnerable, if infected with Coronavirus.

What is our lawful basis for processing your personal data?

The legal basis for processing the data is that it is in the public interest for us to deal with the outbreak of COVID-19.

The General Data Protection Regulation requires specific conditions to be met to ensure that the processing of personal data is lawful. These relevant conditions are below:

  • Article 6(1)(d) – is necessary in order to protect the vital interests of the data subject or another natural person.
  • Recital 46 adds that “some processing may serve both important grounds of public interest and the vital interests of the data subject as for instance when processing is necessary for humanitarian purposes, including for monitoring epidemics and their spread”.
  • Article 6(1)(e) – is necessary for the performance of a task carried out in the public interest or in the exercise of official authority vested in the controller.
  • Section 8(c) of the Data Protection Act sets out that such a task must be necessary for the performance of a function conferred on a person by an enactment or rule of law.
  • The processing of special categories of personal data, which includes data concerning a person’s health, are prohibited unless specific further conditions can be met. These further relevant conditions are below:
    • Article 9(2)(i) – is necessary for reasons of public interest in the area of public health, such as protecting against serious cross-border threats to health.
    • Schedule 1, Part 1(1) – is necessary for the performance or exercising obligations or rights which are imposed or conferred by law on the controller or the data subject in connection with employment, e.g. Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.
    • Schedule 1, Part 1(3) – is necessary for reasons of public interest in the area of public health, and is carried out by or under the responsibility of a health professional, or by another person who in the circumstances owes a duty of confidentiality under an enactment or rule of law, e.g. Governmental guidance published by Public Health England

Am I required to provide my personal data under a statutory or contractual requirement, or am I obliged to provide it?

Whilst the provision of data cannot be mandated, you are strongly advised that it is in the best interests of all to provide this information.

The information will be managed in confidential manner. All information will be held securely and processed on a ‘need to know’ basis by only a limited number of people. If there is a need to disclose outside of this, the minimal amount of personal data will be used.

How long will my personal data be retained by the Council?

The Council will only keep your information for as long as it necessary, taking into account of Government advice and the on-going risk presented by Coronavirus. At a minimum the information outlined in this privacy notice will be kept for the duration of the COVID-19 response.

Information provided by staff in relation to this outbreak of Coronavirus will not be used for any other purpose, including to be held within personnel files ‘just in case’ it may be needed again.

When the information is no longer needed for this purpose, it will be securely deleted.

Your rights

If you are not happy about the way your personal data is being processed you can complain directly to the Council’s Data Protection team: Contact the DPO

You also have the right to complain to the Information Commissioner’s Office.

If you require further information about how we process your personal data, you can contact the Data Protection Officer: Contact the DPO

Further advice and guidance from the ICO on this issue can be found on the ICO website.