Data Protection Policy

1. Introduction

The Property Maintenance People Ltd (hereon referred to as The Company) is committed to conducting its business in accordance with all applicable Data Protection laws and regulations and in line with the highest standards of ethical conduct.  The aim of this policy is to outline how The Company meets its legal obligations in safeguarding confidentiality and adheres to information security standards. The obligations within this policy are principally based upon the requirements of the Data Protection Act 1998, and The Data Protection (Charges and Information) Regulations 2018 which came into force on 25th May 2018, as the key legislative and regulatory provisions governing the security of person-identifiable information.

This Company Policy sets forth the expected behaviours of The Company employees and third parties in relation to the collection, use, retention, transfer, disclosure and destruction of any Personal Data belonging to a contact (i.e. the Data Subject).  Personal Data is any information (including opinions and intentions) which relates to an Identified or Identifiable Natural Person. Personal Data is subject to certain legal safeguards and other regulations, which impose restrictions on how organisations may process Personal Data.

An organisation that handles Personal Data and makes decisions about its use, is known as a Data Controller.  Non-compliance with Data Protection Laws and Regulations, may expose The Company to complaints, regulatory action, fines and/or reputational damage.  The Company’s leadership, is fully committed to ensuring continued and effective implementation of this policy, and expects all of its employees and third parties to share in this commitment. Any breach of this policy will be taken seriously, and may result in disciplinary action or business sanction. This policy has been approved by The Company Chief Executive Officer.

2. Data Controller

2.1.        Definition.  As eluded to above, Prospect Holdings (Reading) Ltd (The Company), is the Data Controller under this Act.  Effectively, this means that it determines what personal information is held, and for what purpose.  As the Data Controller, The Company is also responsible for notifying the Information Commissioner (IC) of the data it holds or is likely to hold, and the general purposes for which the  this data is to be used for.

3. Disclosure

3.1.        General.  The Company may share data with other agencies such as the local authority, funding bodies and other voluntary agencies.

3.2.        The Law.  The Individual/Service User will be made aware of how, and with whom, their information will be shared.  However, there are circumstances when the law allows The Company to disclose data (including sensitive data) without the data subject’s consent.   These are:

  1. Carrying out a legal duty, or as authorised by the Secretary of State.
  2. Protecting vital interests of an Individual/Service User or other person.
  3. When the Individual/Service User has already made the information public.
  4. Conducting any legal proceedings, obtaining legal advice or defending any legal rights.
  5. Monitoring for equal opportunities purposes i.e. race, disability or religion.
  6. Providing a confidential service where the Individual/Service User’s consent cannot be obtained, or where it is reasonable to proceed without consent e.g. where we would wish to avoid forcing stressed or ill Individuals/Service Users to provide consent signatures.

The Company regards the lawful and correct treatment of personal information as very important to successful working, and to maintaining the confidence of those with whom we deal.

3.3.        Principles of Data Protection.  The Company intends to ensure that personal information is treated lawfully and correctly.  To this end, the Company will adhere to the Principles of Data Protection, as detailed in the Data Protection Act 1998.

Specifically, the Principles require that personal information:

  1. Shall be processed fairly and lawfully and, in particular, shall not be processed unless specific conditions are met.
  2. Shall be obtained only for one or more of the purposes specified in the Act, and shall not be processed in any manner incompatible with that purpose, or those purposes.
  3. Shall be adequate, relevant and not excessive in relation to those purpose(s).
  4. Shall be accurate and, where necessary, kept up to date.
  5. Shall not be kept for longer than is necessary.
  6. Shall be processed in accordance with the rights of data subjects under the Act.
  7. Shall be kept secure by the Data Controller who takes appropriate technical and other measures to prevent unauthorised or unlawful processing or accidental loss or destruction of, or damage to, personal information.

Shall not be transferred to a country or territory outside the European Economic Area unless that country or territory ensures an adequate level of protection for the rights and freedoms of Individuals/Service Users in relation to the processing of personal information.

3.4.        Our obligations.  The Company will, through appropriate management and strict application of criteria and controls:

  1. Observe fully conditions regarding the fair collection and use of information.
  2. Meet its legal obligations to specify the purposes for which information is used.
  3. Collect and process appropriate information, and only to the extent that it is needed to fulfil its operational needs or to comply with any legal requirements.
  4. Ensure the quality of information used is fit for purpose.

Ensure that the rights of people about whom information is held, can be fully exercised under the Act. These include:

  1. The right to be informed that processing is being undertaken.
  2. The right of access to one’s personal information.
  3. The right to prevent processing in certain circumstances and;
  4. The right to correct, rectify, block or erase information which is regarded as wrong.
  5. Take appropriate technical and organisational security measures to safeguard personal
  6. Ensure that personal information is not transferred abroad without suitable safeguards.
  7. Treat people justly and fairly whatever their age, religion, disability, gender, sexual orientation or ethnicity when dealing with requests for information.
  8. Set out clear procedures for responding to requests for information.

4. Data Collection

4.1.        Informed consent.  Informed consent is when:

  1. An Individual/Service User clearly understands why their information is needed, who it will be shared with, and the possible consequences of them agreeing or refusing the proposed use of the data.
  2. And then gives their consent.

4.2.        Our obligations.  The Company will ensure that data is collected within the boundaries defined in this policy. This applies to data that is collected in person, or by completing a form.

When collecting data, The Company will ensure that the Individual/Service User:

  1. Clearly understands why the information is needed.
  2. Understands what it will be used for and what the consequences are should the Individual/Service User decide not to give consent to processing.
  3. As far as reasonably possible, grants explicit consent, either written or verbal for data to be processed.
  4. Is, as far as reasonably practicable, competent enough to give consent and has given so freely without any duress.
  5. Has received sufficient information on why their data is needed and how it will be used.

5. Data Storage

5.1.        General.  Information and records relating to service users will be stored securely and will only be accessible to authorised staff and volunteers.

Information will be stored for only as long as it is needed or required statute and will be disposed of appropriately.

It is the company’s responsibility to ensure all personal and company data is non-recoverable from any computer system previously used within the organisation, which has been passed on/sold to a third party.

6. Data Access and Accuracy

6.1.        General.  All Individuals/Service Users have the right to access the information the Company holds about them. The Company will also take reasonable steps to ensure that this information is kept up to date by asking data subjects whether there have been any changes.

In addition, The Company will ensure that:

  1. It has a Data Protection Officer with specific responsibility for ensuring compliance with Data Protection.
  2. Everyone processing personal information understands that they are contractually responsible for following good data protection practice.
  3. Everyone processing personal information is appropriately trained to do so.
  4. Everyone processing personal information is appropriately supervised.
  5. Anyone wishing to make enquiries about handling personal information, knows what to do.
  6. It deals promptly and courteously with any enquiries about handling personal information.
  7. It describes clearly how it handles personal information.
  8. It will regularly review and audit the ways it holds, manages and use personal information.
  9. It regularly assesses and evaluates its methods and performance in relation to handling personal information.
  10. All staff are aware that a breach of the rules and procedures identified in this policy may lead to disciplinary action being taken against them.

Policy Governance

7.1.        General. This policy will be updated as necessary to reflect best practice in data management, security and control and to ensure compliance with any changes or amendments made to the Data Protection Act 1998 and The Data Protection (Charges and Information) Regulations 2018.

In case of any queries or questions in relation to this policy please contact the Company’s Data Protection Officer:

Data Protection Officer for The Property Maintenance People Ltd is: Robyn Emptage

I confirm that I have read this policy and will comply with its terms:

Signed:

Position:

Date:

Appendix 1

Glossary of Terms

Data Controller.  The person or business who (either alone or with others) decides what personal information is to be held or used.

Data Protection Act 1998.  The UK legislation that provides a framework for responsible behaviour by those using personal information.

Data Protection Officer.  The person(s) responsible for ensuring that Prospect Holdings (Reading) Ltd follows its data protection policy and complies with the Data Protection Act 1998.

Individual/Service User.  The person whose personal information is being held or processed by Prospect Holdings (Reading) Ltd for example: a client, an employee, or supporter.

Explicit consent.  Is a freely given, specific and informed agreement by an Individual/Service User in the processing of personal information about them.   Explicit consent is needed for processing sensitive data.

Notification.  Notifying the Information Commissioner about the data processing activities Prospect Holdings (Reading) Ltd, as certain activities may be exempt from notification.

The link below will take you to the ICO website where a self-assessment guide will help you to decide if you are exempt from notification: www.ico.gov.uk/for_organisations/data_protection/the_guide/exemptions.aspx

Information Commissioner.  The UK Information Commissioner responsible for implementing and overseeing the Data Protection Act 1998.

Processing.  Means collecting, amending, handling, storing or disclosing personal information.

Personal Information.  Information about living individuals that enables them to be identified – e.g. name and address. It does not apply to information about organisations, companies and agencies but applies to named persons, such as individual volunteers/employees within The Prospect Group or clients.

Sensitive data.  Refers to data about:

  • Racial or ethnic origin
  • Political affiliations
  • Religion or similar beliefs
  • Trade union membership
  • Physical or mental health
  • Sexuality
  • Criminal record of proceedings