Employee Privacy Notice
Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service (NFRS) collects and processes personal data relating to its employees to manage the employment relationship. NFRS is committed to being transparent about how it collects and uses that data and to meeting its data protection obligations.
What information does NFRS collect?
NFRS collects and processes a range of information about you. This includes:
- Your name, address and contact details, including email address and telephone number, date of birth and gender;
- The terms and conditions of your employment;
- Details of your qualifications, skills, training, experience and employment history, including start and end dates, with previous employers and with the organisation;
- Information about your remuneration, including entitlement to benefits such as pensions or insurance cover;
- Details of your bank account and national insurance number;
- Information about your marital status, next of kin, dependents and emergency contacts;
- Information about your nationality and entitlement to work in the UK;
- Information about your criminal record;
- Details of your schedule (days of work and working hours) and attendance at work;
- Details of periods of leave taken by you, including holiday, sickness absence, family leave and sabbaticals, and the reasons for the leave;
- Details of any disciplinary or grievance procedures in which you have been involved, including any warnings issued to you and related correspondence;
- Assessments of your performance, including appraisals, performance reviews and ratings, training you have participated in, performance improvement plans and related correspondence;
- Information about medical or health conditions, including whether or not you have a disability for which the organisation needs to make reasonable adjustments;
- Details of any employment outside of that with NFRS;
- Details of trade union membership; and
- Equal opportunities monitoring information, including information about your ethnic origin, sexual orientation, health and religion or belief.
NFRS collects this information in a variety of ways. For example, data is collected through application forms, CVs; obtained from your passport or other identity documents such as your driving licence; from forms completed by you at the start of or during employment (such as benefit nomination forms); from correspondence with you; or through interviews, meetings or other assessments. For clarity on any recruitment information, NFRS remains the Data Controller and the Data Processor for all NFRS applications that contain personal data.
You may provide personal data directly by uploading into our main NFRS employee database (FireWatch), which notifies HR for their employee and payroll database (ERP Gold).
In some cases, NFRS collects personal data about you from third parties, such as references supplied by former employers, information from employment background check providers, information from credit reference agencies and information from criminal records checks permitted by law.
Data is also stored in a range of other places, including in your personnel file, in the organisation’s HR management systems and in other IT systems (including the organisation’s email system).
Why does NFRS process personal data?
NFRS needs to process data to enter into an employment contract with you and to meet its obligations under your employment contract. For example, it needs to process your data to provide you with an employment contract, to pay you in accordance with your employment contract and to administer benefit, pension and insurance entitlements.
In some cases, NFRS needs to process data to ensure that it is complying with its legal obligations. For example, it is required to check an employee’s entitlement to work in the UK, to deduct tax, to comply with health and safety laws and to enable employees to take periods of leave to which they are entitled. For certain positions, it is necessary to carry out criminal records checks to ensure that individuals are permitted to undertake the role in question.
In other cases, NFRS has a legitimate interest in processing personal data before, during and after the end of the employment relationship. Processing employee data allows the organisation to:
- Run recruitment and promotion processes;
- Maintain accurate and up-to-date employment records and contact details (including details of who to contact in the event of an emergency), and records of employee contractual and statutory rights;
- Operate and keep a record of disciplinary and grievance processes, to ensure acceptable conduct within the workplace;
- Operate and keep a record of employee performance and related processes, to plan for career development, and for succession planning and workforce management purposes;
- Operate and keep a record of absence and absence management procedures, to allow effective workforce management and ensure that employees are receiving the pay or other benefits to which they are entitled;
- Obtain occupational health advice, to ensure that it complies with duties in relation to individuals with disabilities, meet its obligations under health and safety law, and ensure that employees are receiving the pay or other benefits to which they are entitled;
- Operate and keep a record of other types of leave (including maternity, paternity, adoption, parental and shared parental leave), to allow effective workforce management, to ensure that the organisation complies with duties in relation to leave entitlement, and to ensure that employees are receiving the pay or other benefits to which they are entitled;
- Ensure effective general HR and business administration;
- Provide references on request for current or former employees;
- Respond to and defend against legal claims; and
- Maintain and promote equality in the workplace.
Where NFRS relies on legitimate interests as a reason for processing data, it has considered whether or not those interests are overridden by the rights and freedoms of employees or workers and has concluded that they are not.
Some special categories of personal data, such as information about health or medical conditions, is processed to carry out employment law obligations (such as those in relation to employees with disabilities and for health and safety purposes).
Information about trade union membership is processed to allow the organisation to operate check-off for union subscriptions and to make related payroll amendments in the event of industrial action.
Where NFRS processes other special categories of personal data, such as information about ethnic origin, sexual orientation, health or religion or belief, this is done for the purposes of equal opportunities monitoring. Data that the organisation uses for these purposes is anonymised or is collected with the express consent of employees, which can be withdrawn at any time. Employees are entirely free to decide whether or not to provide such data and there are no consequences of failing to do so.
Who has access to data?
Your information will be shared internally, including with members of the HR and recruitment team (including payroll), Training personnel, IT staff, Occupational Health clinicians and administration staff and relevant managers and officers. If access to your data is necessary for the performance of your roles if you are ever referred to the Occupational Health team, your line manager, managers in the business area may require some sensitive classified data for performance of your role.
NFRS shares your data with third parties in order to obtain pre-employment references from other employers, obtain employment background checks from third-party providers and obtain necessary criminal records checks from the Disclosure and Barring Service.
NFRS also shares your data with third parties that process data or maintain systems on its behalf, in connection with HR and payroll related transactions, the provision of benefits and the provision of occupational health services.
NFRS will not transfer your data to countries outside the European Economic Area.
How does NFRS protect data?
NFRS takes the security of your data seriously with internal policies and controls in place to try to ensure that your data is not lost, accidentally destroyed, misused or disclosed, and is not accessed except by its employees in the performance of their duties.
Where NFRS engages third parties to process personal data on its behalf, they 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.
For how long does NFRS keep data?
The period for which your personal data is held is as per the NFRS retention guidelines, which is available on the Services intranet.
As a data subject, you have a number of rights. You can:
- Access and obtain a copy of your data on request;
- Require the organisation to change incorrect or incomplete data;
- Require the organisation to delete or stop processing your data, for example where the data is no longer necessary for the purposes of processing;
- Object to the processing of your data where the organisation is relying on its legitimate interests as the legal ground for processing; and
- Ask the organisation to stop processing data for a period if data is inaccurate or there is a dispute about whether or not your interests override the organisation’s legitimate grounds for processing data.
If you would like to exercise any of these rights, you can make a Subject Access Request (SAR) by completing the organisation’s SAR form, which is available on our website:
Any complaints will be addressed by the NFRS Service Information Team and could be escalated to the Fire Executive Group (FEG). If you do not get appropriate response to your query/complaint you can contact the Information Commissioners Office at ico.org.uk, Tel: 0303 123 1113 or via email firstname.lastname@example.org, https://ico.org.uk/global/contact-us/email/ or at the Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire. SK9 5AF.
What if you do not provide personal data?
You have some obligations under your employment contract to provide NFRS with data. In particular, you are required to report absences from work and may be required to provide information about disciplinary or other matters under the implied duty of good faith. You may also have to provide NFRS with data in order to exercise your statutory rights, such as in relation to statutory leave entitlements. Failing to provide the data may mean that you are unable to exercise your statutory rights.
Certain information, such as contact details, your right to work in the UK and payment details, have to be provided to enable NFRS to enter a contract of employment with you. If you do not provide other information, this will hinder the NFRS’s ability to administer the rights and obligations arising as a result of the employment relationship efficiently.
Employment decisions are not based solely on automated decision-making.