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Employment Alert - How Should You Process Personal Data About Workers’ Health?

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What’s happening?

On 31 August 2023 the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) published new guidance for employers on processing workers’ health data. You can view the guidance here.

Why is this Important?

Whilst employers need to take care of all information they hold about their employees and other workers, UK data protection law classes health data as special category personal data which is considered to need (and is therefore given) more protection in law as it relates to more sensitive or personal matters. The intention of the new guidance is to assist employers in complying with their enhanced legal obligations in respect of health data.

In relation to the new guidance the ICO explains:

“The guidance has two main parts. The first section contains an overview of how data protection law applies to the processing of workers’ health information. It looks at the data protection principles and the basics for compliance, with links to further detailed guidance.

The second part considers some of the most common types of employment practices where you process workers’ health information. It looks at what the law requires you to do, as well as good practice advice.”

What should you do?

We would advise all HR professionals involved with the collection and processing of workers’ health data to review the guidance and reflect on whether their organisation needs to adapt its processes in relation to the collection and use of health data to align with the ICO guidance.

If you would like to talk to our expert Employment team, please please call us on 0800 2800 421 or contact us using the form below.

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