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Data Protection & TUPE transfers

In a TUPE transfer situation it is necessary to disclose information about your employees to the transferee. This has obvious data protection implications. In order to provide some guidance the Information Commissioner has issued a Good Practice Note. These are the key recommendations: -
  • Think about data protection early in the TUPE process.
  • Agree what information you should transfer, and how, well before a transfer takes place.
  • Make sure those responsible for negotiating the transfer of staff are aware of their responsibilities to comply with data protection principles, for example, to keep personal information up to date and secure.
  • Make sure you transfer enough information to meet your TUPE obligations and to allow the new employer to run the business and manage the staff. However, both parties should make sure that excessive and irrelevant information is not transferred.
  • Make sure any information handed over is used only for the purposes of TUPE until the transfer of staff is completed.
  • Tell employees that their information will be passed to the new employer. This may not always be possible if, for example, ‘insider trading’ restrictions apply.
  • Consider whether personal information could be anonymised before providing any information which is not required by TUPE.
  • Make sure, once the transfer of staff has been completed, that employment records are accurate, relevant and up to date and any unnecessary information is destroyed securely.
06 June 2008
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