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HR Newsletter #101 March 2017

Employment Update

Redundancy Procedures

The maximum weekly wage that can be used for calculating a redundancy payment is now £489 / week. So if an employee earns more than this figure, you can work out the redundancy payment due (in number of weeks) multiplied by £489 and not their actual salary.  The spreadsheet contains a Redundancy Calculator incorporating a Payment Summary printout.  All you’ll need to use this tool is the person’s name; date of birth; start date for continuous employment purposes; termination date and their salary.  There is also an overview of the content you will need to have in your Redundancy Policy to comply with current regulation.    

Shared Parental Leave Provisions

The pdf contains a flowchart to help clarify the processes you need to follow when dealing with requests that fall under the Shared Parental Leave provisions.

Subject Access Requests under Data Protection Act

When staff ask for a copy of their personal data - this is called a “Subject Access Request” (SAR). Two recent court cases have clarified certain points about the volume and types of data needing to be disclosed. The following is a simple guide to dealing with SARs. The requested information is usually located in their Personnel file – but will also be found elsewhere. Regardless of where it is held, once they have made a request the employer must carry certain tasks:
  1. Ensure the request is in writing
  2. Ensure the identity of the requestor is known
  3. Ensure it is clearly understood specifically exactly what information is being requested (the requester must make this clear although they do not need to explain why they want the data or what they will use it for)
  4. Receive the £10 fee
  5. Deliver the required data within 40 calendar days of the fee being received
  6. Provide data in a permanent form (hard copy or by e-mail attachment) - not a web link
  7. Provide an explanation of any technical terms (or acronyms) that the requester would not ordinarily understand
  8. Look for documents both hard copies (in personnel file) and electronic (in e-mails)
  9. Ensure nothing is altered /amend in the data even if it is inaccurate or embarrassing
  10. If the data does not exist (e.g. has been deleted/destroyed) the employer must inform the requester of that fact
Points to note:
  • The search for data needs to only be “proportionate” and not to the level that requires the employer to “turn over every stone” looking for data.
  • Documents and emails should only generally be disclosed if the document names the individual AND the document has the individual as its focus (i.e. general all-staff email communications need not be disclosed).
  • Documents can be provided that contain other persons’ information (3rd party data) but their identity should be redacted (blanked-out) unless permission to disclose the data is given by the people referenced.
  • Information provided by the employer that comes from a 3rd party that is expressly marked as confidential need not be disclosed (e.g. a confidential reference from a former employer) but the employer must not assume any other document is confidential – it needs to already be marked as such at the point the request was made.
  • Employers can elect not to disclose information (and declare it exempt) that they hold regarding the member of staff if it will likely prejudice future management planning or business forecasting (e.g. if there is a document outlining future staff pay increases that are not yet announced, or the person’s name appears on a restructuring document as being provisionally earmarked for redundancy).