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Introduction

Linthwaite Ltd needs to gather and use certain information about individuals.

These can include customers, suppliers, business contacts, employees and other people the organisation has a relationship with or may need to contact.

This policy describes how this personal data must be collected, handled and stored to meet the company’s data protection standards — and to comply with the law.

Why this policy exists

This data protection policy ensures Linthwaite Ltd:

Complies with data protection law and follow good practice
Protects the rights of staff, customers and partners
Is open about how it stores and processes individuals’ data
Protects itself from the risks of a data breach


Data protection law

The GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) describes how organisations — including Linthwaite Ltd— must collect, handle and store personal information.

These rules apply regardless of whether data is stored electronically, on paper or on other materials.

To comply with the law, personal information must be collected and used fairly, stored safely and not disclosed unlawfully.

The Data Protection Act is underpinned by eight important principles. These say that personal data must:

1.     Be processed fairly and lawfully

2.     Be obtained only for specific, lawful purposes

3.     Be adequate, relevant and not excessive

4.     Be accurate and kept up to date

5.     Not be held for any longer than necessary

6.     Processed in accordance with the rights of data subjects

7.     Be protected in appropriate ways

Not be transferred outside the European Economic Area (EEA), unless that country or territory also ensures an adequate level of protection

People risks and responsibilities Policy scope

This policy applies to:

 

The head office of Linthwaite Ltd
All branches of Linthwaite Ltd
All staff whether permanent or temporary working for Linthwaite Ltd
All contractors, suppliers and other people working on behalf of Linthwaite Ltd
It applies to all data that the company holds relating to identifiable individuals, even if that information technically falls outside of the GDPR. This can include:

recruitment information such as your application form and CV, references, qualifications and membership of any professional bodies and details of any pre-employment assessments;
your contact details and date of birth;
the contact details for your emergency contacts;
your gender;
your marital status and family details;
information about your contract of employment (or services) including start and end dates of employment, role and location, working hours, details of promotion, salary (including details of previous remuneration), pension, benefits and holiday entitlement;
your bank details and information in relation to your tax status including your national insurance number;
your identification documents including passport and driving license and information in relation to your immigration status and right to work for us;
information relating to disciplinary or grievance investigations and proceedings involving you (whether or not you were the main subject of those proceedings);
information relating to your performance and behaviour at work;
training records;
electronic information in relation to your use of IT systems/ swipe cards/ telephone systems;
your images (whether captured on CCTV, by photograph or video); and
Any other category of personal data which we may notify you of from time to time.
 

How the company will process your personal data

The Company will process your personal data (including special categories of personal data) in accordance with our obligations under the 2018 Act.
 

We will use your personal data for:

 

complying with any legal obligation; or
performing the contract of employment (or services) between us;
If it is necessary for our legitimate interests (or for the legitimate interests of someone else). However, we can only do this if your interests and rights do not override ours (or theirs). You have the right to challenge our legitimate interests and request that we stop this processing. See details of your rights in section 12 below.
 We can process your personal data for these purposes without your knowledge or consent. We will not use your personal data for an unrelated purpose without telling you about it and the legal basis that we intend to rely on for processing it.
If you choose not to provide us with certain personal data you should be aware that we may not be able to carry out certain parts of the contract between us. For example, if you do not provide us with your bank account details we may not be able to pay you. It might also stop us from complying with certain legal obligations and duties which we have such as to pay the right amount of tax to HMRC or to make reasonable adjustments in relation to any disability you may suffer from.


Data protection risks

This policy helps to protect Linthwaite Ltd from some very real data security risks, including:

Breaches of confidentiality. For instance, information being given out inappropriately.
Failing to offer choice. For instance, all individuals should be free to choose how the company uses data relating to them.
Reputational damage. For instance, the company could suffer if hackers successfully gained access to sensitive data.
  

Responsibilities

Everyone who works for or with Linthwaite Ltd has some responsibility for ensuring data is collected, stored and handled appropriately.

Each team that handles personal data must ensure that it is handled and processed in line with this policy and data protection principles.

However, these people have key areas of responsibility:

The board of directors is ultimately responsible for ensuring that Linthwaite Ltd meets its legal obligations.
The Data protection officer, is responsible for:
Keeping the board updated about data protection responsibilities, risks and issues.

Reviewing all data protection procedures and related policies, in line with an agreed schedule.

Arranging data protection training and advice for the people covered by this policy.

Handling data protection questions from staff and anyone else covered by this policy. Dealing with requests from individuals to see the data Linthwaite Ltd holds about them (also called ‘subject access requests’). Checking and approving any contracts or agreements with third parties that may handle the company’s sensitive data.

The IT manager, is responsible for:
Ensuring all systems, services and equipment used for storing data meet acceptable security standards.

Performing regular checks and scans to ensure security hardware and software is functioning properly.

Evaluating any third-party services the company is considering using to store or process data. For instance, cloud computing services.

The Marketing manager, is responsible for:
Approving any data protection statements attached to communications such as emails and letters.

Addressing any data protection queries from journalists or media outlets like newspapers.

Where necessary, working with other staff to ensure marketing initiatives abide by data protection principles.

 

How we deal with data breaches

We have robust measures in place to minimise and prevent data breaches from taking place. Should a breach of personal data occur (whether in respect of you or someone else) then we will take notes and keep evidence of that breach. If the breach is likely to result in a risk to the rights and freedoms of individuals then we will also notify the Information Commissioner’s Office within 72 hours.
If you are aware of a data breach you must contact Carol Scarrott, IT & HR Manager immediately and keep any evidence you have in relation to the breach.


General staff guidelines

The only people able to access data covered by this policy should be those who need it for their work.
Data should not be shared informally. When access to confidential information is required, employees can request it from their line managers.
Linthwaite Ltd will provide trainingto all employees to help them understand their responsibilities when handling data.
Employees should keep all data secure, by taking sensible precautions and following the guidelines below.
In particular, strong passwords must be used and they should never be shared.
Personal data should not be disclosed to unauthorised people, either within the company or externally.
Data should be regularly reviewed and updated if it is found to be out of date. If no longer required, it should be deleted and disposed of.
Employees should request help from their line manager or the data protection officer if they are unsure about any aspect of data protection.


Data storage

These rules describe how and where data should be safely stored. Questions about storing data safely can be directed to the IT manager or data controller.

When data is stored on paper, it should be kept in a secure place where unauthorised people cannot see it.

These guidelines also apply to data that is usually stored electronically but has been printed out for some reason:

 

When not required, the paper or files should be kept in a secure location.
Employees should make sure paper and printouts are not left where unauthorised people could see them, like on a printer.
Data printouts should be shredded and disposed of securely when no longer required.
When data is stored electronically, it must be protected from unauthorised access, accidental deletion and malicious hacking attempts:

Data should be protected by strong passwords that are changed regularly and never shared between employees.
If data is stored on removable media (like a CD, DVD or USB memory sticks), these should be kept locked away securely when not being used.
Data should only be stored on designated drives and servers, and should only be uploaded to an approved cloud computing services.
Servers containing personal data should be sited in a secure location, away from general office space.
Data should be backed up frequently. Those backups should be tested regularly, in line with the company’s standard backup procedures.
Data should never be saved directly to laptops or other mobile devices like tablets or smart phones.
All servers and computers containing data should be protected by approved security software and a firewall.


Data use

Personal data is of no value to Linthwaite Ltd unless the business can make use of it. However, it is when personal data is accessed and used that it can be at the greatest risk of loss, corruption or theft:

 

When working with personal data, employees should ensure the screens of their computers are always locked when left unattended.
Personal data should not be shared informally. In particular, it should never be sent by email, unless it has been encrypted, as this form of communication is not secure.
Data must be encrypted before being transferred electronically. The IT manager can explain how to send data to authorised external contacts.
Personal data should never be transferred outside of the European Economic Area.
Employees should not save copies of personal data to their own computers.
Always access and update the central copy of any data.

Employees should never leave their workstations unattended or leave personal data for passers-by to observe. An approved screen saver and screen locking function should be used to prevent casual observations.


Data accuracy

The law requires Linthwaite Ltd to take reasonable steps to ensure data is kept accurate and up to date.

The more important it is that the personal data is accurate, the greater the effort Linthwaite Ltd should put into ensuring its accuracy.

It is the responsibility of all employees who work with data to take reasonable steps to ensure it is kept as accurate and up to date as possible.

 

Data will be held in as few places as necessary. Staff should not create any unnecessary additional data sets.
Staff should take every opportunity to ensure data is updated. For instance, by confirming a customer’s details when they call.
Linthwaite Ltd will make it easy for data subjects to update the information Linthwaite Ltd holds about them. For instance, using ‘Empresa’ Human Resources software via the company website.
Data should be updated as inaccuracies are discovered. For instance, if a customer can no longer be reached on their stored telephone number, it should be removed from the database.
It is the marketing manager’s responsibility to ensure marketing databases are checked against industry suppression files every six months.


Subject access requests

All individuals who are the subject of personal data held by Linthwaite Ltd are entitled to:

 

Ask what information the company holds about them and why.
Ask how to gain access to it.
Be informed how to keep it up to date.
Be informed how the company is meeting its data protection obligations.
If an individual contacts the company requesting this information, this is called a subject access request.

Individuals have the right to:

 

Access their personal information and supplementary information
The right to rectification
The right to erasure
Subject access requests from individuals should be made in person, to the data controller at Lower Road offices. The data controller can supply a standard request form, although individuals do not have to use this.

Subject access requests from individuals will be supplied free of charge. The data controller will aim to provide the relevant data within 1 to 2 months.

The data controller will always verify the identity of anyone making a subject access request before handing over any information.

Disclosing data for other reasons

In certain circumstances, the Data Protection Act allows personal data to be disclosed to law enforcement agencies without the consent of the data subject.

Under these circumstances, Linthwaite Ltd will disclose requested data. However, the data controller will ensure the request is legitimate, seeking assistance from the board and from the company’s legal advisers where necessary.

Providing information

Linthwaite Ltd aims to ensure that individuals are aware that their data is being processed, and that they understand:

How the data is being used
How to exercise their rights
To these ends, the company has a privacy statement, setting out how data relating to individuals is used by the company.