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Occupational health records privacy notice

Who do you keep information about?

Information and records are maintained and processed on applicants, employees (existing and former) and staff including agency staff where we have an obligation to undertake health surveillance and provide occupational health services.

Why do you keep information about me?

Review and referral documentation from managers and HR will be held on the OH file as well as documentation from third party health providers / professionals such as an employee’s Consultant, GP, Counsellor and Physiotherapist.

An employee will have authorised access to third party advice and reports regarding their health and ability to conduct their employment contract. 

Occupational Health records are clinical in nature and contain documents used as part of fulfilling the contract of employment.

Records commence from the pre-employment questionnaire that applicants complete through to absence management and health surveillance undertaken in the course of the employment contract. 

Health related information is held to enable the Council to manage its human resources associated with the performance of the contract of employment and agreed services for work.

Medical advice sought and received will be used as part of management decision making in the course of preventative or occupational medicine for assessing working capacity and abilities following medical diagnosis and to meet our obligations under employment law.

Medical information will only be obtained where required.

Medical testing / examinations will only be undertaken as part of an Occupational Health / Health and Safety Programme where they are necessary to prevent risks, determine a workers fitness to carry out his / her duties safely and comply with legal obligations in order to fulfil the contract of employment.

Medical information will be used alongside other HR information where appropriate and will be shared with designated Human Resources Officers / Managers, designated Health and Safety Officers / Managers, Trade Unions and other medical professionals that the Council engages and contracts with in order to progress health related issues associated with the employment contract. 

The legal conditions we are relying upon to process your personal data are set out in Article 6 [external link] and Article 9 [external link] of the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) [external link].

They are ‘Processing is necessary for the performance of a contract with the data subject or to take steps to enter into a contract’, ‘processing is necessary for the purposes of preventive or occupational medicine, for the assessment of the working capacity of the employee…’ and ‘processing is necessary for carrying out obligations under employment, social security or social protection law, or a collective agreement’.

As such, we will not ask for your ‘consent’ to process your personal data.

Failure to provide this information will result in management decisions being based on the information held.

Who can see my information?

Access is restricted to authorised managers, officers and third party organisations who have been authorised to process personal and sensitive personal information relating to the health of an employee.

All the Councils third-party service providers and other entities in the group are required to take appropriate security measures to protect your personal information in line with our policies.

We do not allow our third-party service providers to use your personal data for their own purposes. We only permit them to process your personal data for specified purposes and in accordance with the Councils instructions.

How do you store the information you keep about me?

Paper medical files, electronic medical case files, HR database, spreadsheets and word documents and encrypted and passworded emails.

Health related information and records are stored separately and in addition to an employee’s personal file held in HR and records held by an individual manager as part of management arrangements.

How long do you keep information about me?

Type of health record Minimum retention period after cessation of employment

Occupational Health Records

Non statutory

6 years after termination of employment, unless litigation ensures

Occupational Health Records

Involving litigation

As advised by Council legal advisor. Normally review decision to retain records 10 years after the file is closed

Occupational Health Records

Holding immunisation details
10 years after the conclusion of treatment
Records falling within the provisions of the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) Regulations 2002(reg. 10(5)) 40 years from exposure
Records falling within the provisions of the Control of Lead at Work Regulations 40 years from the date of last entry
Records falling within the provisions of the Work in Compressed Air Regulations (1996) 40 years
Records falling within the provisions of the Ionising Radiation Regulations 1999 (reg. 11(3)) 50 years
Records falling within the provisions of the Control of Asbestos at Work Regulations 2006 50 years
Pre-employment Health Declaration - employment not subsequently commencing 1 year
Clinical Appointment Diaries 4 years
Refrigerator temperature (Cold chain Protocol) 1 year

Medical information which appears on the employees personal file (rather than Occupational file) is deleted and confidentially destroyed in line with personal file retention periods (please see separate HR personal files privacy notice)

How did the Council get my personal data?

Data is received from health professionals, former employers, managers, Human Resources and Health and Safety.

In cases where your personal data was obtained from a source other than yourself or your representative, we will inform you of the origin of the information within 1 month, unless that information is being used to contact you, in which case, that information should be provided to you at the latest, upon first communication with you.

However, it is not necessary to provide that information in cases where you already possess the information, where recording or disclosure is expressly laid down in law or where provision of the information proves impossible or would involve disproportionate effort. 

What sort of information do you keep?

We may use the following information about you to make sure that we provide you with the right service, advice or support. 

Personal data

  • Name
  • Identification number
  • Location data
  • One or more factors specific to the physical identity of a natural person
  • One or more factors specific to the physiological identity of a natural person
  • One or more factors specific to the genetic identity of a person
  • One or more factors specific to the mental identity of a person
  • One or more factors specific to the economic identity of a person
  • One or more factors specific to the cultural identity of a person
  • One or more factors specific to the social identity of a person

Special categories of personal data

  • Racial or ethnic origin
  • Political Opinions
  • Religious or philosophical beliefs
  • Trade union membership
  • Data concerning health
  • Data concerning a natural person’s sex life or sexual orientation

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