Data Protection Policy
Thomas Leach Ltd holds personal data about our clients, suppliers, employees and other individuals for a variety of business purposes.
This policy sets out how we seek to protect personal data and ensure that TLC staff understand the rules governing their use of personal data to which they have access in the course of their work. In particular, this policy requires staff to ensure that the Data Protection Lead be consulted before any significant new data processing activity is initiated to ensure that relevant compliance steps are addressed.
To comply with the General Data Protection Regulations, (GDPR) personal information must be collected and used fairly, stored safely and not disclosed unlawfully. The regulations apply regardless of whether data is stored electronically, on paper or on other materials.
Fair and lawful processing
We must process personal data fairly and lawfully in accordance with individuals’ rights. This generally means that we should not process personal data unless the individual whose details we are processing has consented to this happening or there is a legitimate business reason for doing so. The greater focus for processing personal data will rely on what is necessary to comply with a legal obligation, in the performance of a contract or for the purposes of the legitimate interests of Thomas Leach Ltd or a third party. Everyone who works for and with Thomas Leach Ltd has some responsibility for ensuring data is collected, stored and handled appropriately. Each team that handles personal data must ensure that it is handled and processed in line with this policy and the data protection principles that are outlined later in this document.
However, the following individuals have key areas of responsibility:
The Data Controller’s responsibilities:
- Overall accountability for ensuring compliance with the obligations under GDPR.
- Determines the purposes and means of processing personal data.
- Ensure the companies suppliers and processors comply with the GDPR
The Data Processor’s responsibilities:
- For processing personal data on behalf of the controller
- Will have specific legal obligations which include maintaining records of personal data and processing activities along with having legal liability if responsible for a breach.
The Data Protection Lead’s responsibilities:
- Keeping the Company’s management team updated about data protection responsibilities, risks and issues
- Reviewing all data protection procedures and policies on a regular basis
- Arranging data protection training and advice for all staff members and those included in this policy
- Answering questions on data protection from staff, board members and other stakeholders
- Responding to individuals such as clients and employees who wish to know which data is being held on them by Thomas Leach Ltd
- Checking and approving with third parties that handle the company’s data any contracts or agreement regarding data processing
The responsibilities of the Company’s management team
- Endorsing this data protection policy
- Sponsor compliance with the GDPR
- Review the company’s GDPR governance structure to ensure it is fit for purpose and identify when changes are needed
Responsibilities of the Technical Director
- Ensure all systems, services, software and equipment meet acceptable security standards
- Checking and scanning security hardware and software regularly to ensure it is functioning properly
- Researching third-party services, such as cloud services the company is considering using to store or process data
Responsibilities of the Marketing Director
- Approving data protection statements attached to emails and other marketing copy
- Addressing data protection queries from clients, target audiences or media outlets
- Coordinating with the DPL to ensure all marketing initiatives adhere to data protection laws and the company’s Data Protection Policy
The processing of all data must be:
- Necessary to deliver our services
- In our legitimate interests and not unduly prejudice the individual’s privacy
- In most cases this provision will apply to routine business data processing activities.
Our Terms of Business contains a Privacy Notice to clients on data protection.
- Sets out the purposes for which we hold personal data on customers and employees
- Highlights that our work may require us to give information to third parties such as expert witnesses and other professional advisers
- Provides that customers have a right of access to the personal data that we hold about them
Accuracy and relevance
We will ensure that any personal data we process is accurate, adequate, relevant and not excessive, given the purpose for which it was obtained. We will not process personal data obtained for any unconnected purpose unless the individual concerned has agreed to this or would otherwise reasonably expect this.
Individuals may ask that we correct inaccurate personal data relating to them. If you believe that information is inaccurate you should record the fact that the accuracy of the information is disputed and inform the Data Protection Lead.
We must retain personal data for no longer than is necessary. What is necessary will depend on the circumstances of each case, taking into account the reasons that the personal data was obtained, but should be determined in a manner consistent with our data retention guidelines. These are available within the company’s Data Privacy Notices.
Transferring data internationally
There are restrictions on international transfers of personal data. TLC shall not transfer personal data anywhere outside the EEA.
Subject access requests
Under the General Data Protection Regulations, individuals are entitled, subject to certain exceptions, to request access to information held about them.
Please contact the Data Protection Lead (DPL) if you would like to correct or request information that we hold about you. There are also restrictions on the information to which you are entitled under applicable law.
Processing data in accordance with the individual’s rights
- TLC shall abide by any request from an individual not to use their personal data for direct marketing purposes and follow the marketing process for dealing with any such requests.
- TLC shall not send direct marketing material to someone electronically (e.g. via email) unless there is an existing business relationship with them in relation to the services being marketed.
Privacy Notice – transparency of data protection
Being transparent and providing accessible information to individuals about how we will use their personal data is important for our organisation. The Thomas Leach Ltd Data Privacy Notices provide details on how we collect data and what we will do with it. These are available at the end of this Policy.
The conditions for processing are set out in the General Data Protection Regulations. Unless a relevant exemption applies, at least one of the following conditions must be met whenever TLC process personal data:
- The individual whom the personal data is about has consented to the processing.
- The processing is necessary in relation to a contract which the individual has entered into, or because the individual has asked for something to be done so they can enter into a contract.
- The processing is necessary because of a legal obligation that applies to the organisation (except an obligation imposed by a contract).
- The processing is necessary to protect the individual’s “vital interests”. This condition only applies in cases of life and death, such as where an individual’s medical history is disclosed to a hospital’s A&E department treating them after a serious accident.
- The processing is necessary for administering justice, or for exercising statutory, governmental, or other public functions.
- The processing is in accordance with the “legitimate interests” condition.
We will ensure any use of personal data is justified using at least one of the conditions for processing set out above, and this will be specifically documented in the Privacy Notice. All staff who are responsible for processing personal data will be aware of the conditions for processing.
Justification for personal data
The company will process personal data in compliance with the data protection principles which are detailed below:
- Lawfulness, Fairness and Transparency – Processed lawfully, fairly and in a transparent manner in relation to the data subject.
- Purpose Limitation – Collected for specified, explicit and legitimate purposes and not further processed in a manner that is incompatible with those purposes.
- Data Minimisation – Adequate, relevant and limited to what is necessary in relation to the purposes for which they are processed.
- Accuracy – Accurate and, where necessary, kept up to date. Reasonable steps must be taken to ensure that inaccurate personal data are erased or rectified.
- Storage Limitation – kept in a form which permits identification of data subjects for no longer than is necessary for the purposes for which the personal data are processed.
- Integrity and Confidentiality – Processed in a manner that ensures appropriate security of the personal data, including protection against unauthorised or unlawful processing and against accidental loss, destruction or damage, using appropriate technical or organisational measures.
- Accountability – The controller shall be responsible for, and able to demonstrate compliance with the above points.
The Company will document the additional justification for the processing of sensitive data, and will ensure any biometric and genetic data is considered sensitive.
From May 2018 the following rights for individuals will come into force:
- The right to be informed – the Company is obliged to provide ‘fair processing information’, typically through a privacy notice.
- The right of access – individuals have the right to access their personal data and supplementary information.
- The right to rectification – individuals have the right to have personal data rectified.
- The right to erase – the right to erasure is also known as ‘the right to be forgotten’. The broad principle underpinning this right is to enable an individual to request the deletion or removal of personal data where there is no compelling reason for its continued processing. Any third parties who process or use that data must also comply with the request. An erasure request can only be refused if an exemption applies.
- The right to restrict processing – individuals have a right to ‘block’ or suppress processing of personal data.
- The right to data portability – allows individuals to obtain and reuse their personal data for their own purposes across different services. It allows them to move, copy or transfer personal data easily from one IT environment to another in a safe and secure way, without hindrance to usability. Upon request, a data subject should have the right to receive a copy of their data in a structured format. These requests should be processed within one month, provided there is no undue burden and it does not compromise the privacy of other individuals. A data subject may also request that their data is transferred directly to another system. This must be done for free.
- The right to object – to processing based on legitimate interests or the performance of a task in the public interest/exercise of official authority (including profiling); direct marketing (including profiling); and processing for purposes of scientific/historical research and statistics.
- Rights in relation to automated decision making and profiling – which provides safeguards for individuals against the risk that a potentially damaging decision is taken without human intervention.If you have any complaints in relation to this Policy, please contact the Data Protection Lead in the first instance.
If you wish to exercise one of these rights, please contact the Data Protection Lead.
Privacy by design and default
Privacy by design is an approach to projects that promote privacy and data protection compliance from the start. The Data Protection Lead (DPL) will be responsible for conducting Privacy Impact Assessments and the Technical Director is responsible for ensuring that all IT projects commence with a privacy plan.
When relevant, and when it does not have a negative impact on the data subject, privacy settings will be set to the most private by default.
Data audit and register
Regular data audits to manage and mitigate risks will inform the data register. This contains information on what data is held, where it is stored, how it is used, who is responsible and any further regulations or retention timescales that may be relevant.
All members of TLC staff have an obligation to report actual or potential data protection compliance failures. This allows us to:
- Investigate the failure and take remedial steps if necessary
- Maintain a register of compliance failures
- Notify the Supervisory Authority (SA) of any compliance failures that are material either in their own right or as part of a pattern of failures
General Staff Guidelines
Details below describe how personal data should be used safely.
- The only people able to access personal data covered by this policy should be those who need it for their work.
- Personal data should not be shared formally or informally to anyone. When access to confidential information is required, they should ask the Office Manager.
- The Company will provide training to all employees who process personal data to help them understand their responsibilities when handling data.
- Employees should keep all data secure, by taking sensible precautions and following the company’s guidelines
- In particular, strong passwords must be used that are changed regularly and they should never be shared.
- When sending data via email to third party Data Processors, information must be contained in a password protected attachment to an email.
- Personal data must never be saved onto memory sticks.
- Servers containing personal data must be kept in a secure location, away from general office space
- Data should be regularly backed up in line with the company’s backup procedures
- Data should never be saved directly to the hard drive of mobile devices such as laptops, surfaces, tablets or smartphones. If a Personal Computer is ever used for working on personal data, any documents must be saved onto the central copy and deleted from the PC. Always access and update the central copy of any data.
- Data should be regularly reviewed and updated if it is found to be out of date. If no longer required, it should be deleted and disposed of.
- Employees should request help from their line manager or Data Protection Lead (DPL) if they are unsure of any aspect of data protection.
- When not required the paper or files should be kept in a locked drawer or filing cabinet. Printed data should be shredded when it is no longer needed.
- Employees should make sure paper and printouts are not left where unauthorised people could see them, like on a printer.
- When data is stored electronically, it must be protected from unauthorised access, accidental deletion and malicious hacking attempts.
- Data should only be stored on designated drives and servers, and should only be uploaded to an approved cloud computing service.
- Servers containing personal data should be sited in a secure location, away from general office space.
- When working with personal data, employees should ensure the screens of their computers are always locked when left unattended.
- Data must be password protected before being transferred electronically.
- All staff will receive training on this policy, relevant to their role. New joiners will receive training as part of the induction process. Further training will be provided at least every two years or whenever there is a substantial change in the law or our policy and procedure.
Completion of training is compulsory.
The Company takes compliance with this policy very seriously. Failure to comply puts both the employee and the organisation at risk.
The importance of this policy means that failure to comply with any requirement may lead to disciplinary action under our procedures which may result in dismissal.