Are you being asked to disclose employees’ records, including criminal records, to your Clients?
It is now common practice for Clients and Principal Contractors to insist that their supply chain carry out some of the legal tasks that they used to do themselves. For instance, drug and alcohol testing and site safety inspections are obligations that are commonly being included in the contracts with Clients – so make sure you read the small print!
‘Self-auditing’ is generally fine as clauses within a contract of employment can permit tests and checks that can be undertaken as part of the employment relationship, but to share some of this private information, such as criminal records, could constitute breaches of Data Protection and Offender Rehabilitation laws.
There are situations like schools, hospitals, care homes and defence establishments that require a high degree of security, which can be reviewed through DBS (Disclosure Barring Service) checks. It is then for the employer to act upon any disclosed limitations that prevent employees from working, and must not be shared under any circumstances.
The 2018 Data Protection Act protects personal information being shared, except in very specific circumstances, and the 1974 Rehabilitation of Offenders Act protects reformed offenders from less favourable treatment unless it can’t be avoided. Disclosing such information to a third party, such as a Client, could land you in hot water and should only be considered if the information shared is ‘proportionate to meet a legitimate aim’, in other words, was it necessary given the circumstances of the Contract.
THSP’s Employment Safe service can support your individual business needs and help you to manage your workforce using the best practices. If you need help with your Data Protection or Offender Rehab Policies, or for more information on how our Employment Safe service and HR tool, Tribe, can help your business, then call us on 03456 122 144 to speak to one of our friendly advisors today.