New Data Code for employers in the UK

Mar 25 2002 by Brian Amble Print This Article

The Office for the Information Commissioner ("OIC") has issued the first part of the Employment Practices Data Protection Code on its website at,

Although the Code is primarily directed at businesses " where the employment of staff constitutes a significant activity" much of the code (and most of the Data Protection Act 1998 ("the Act") will be applicable to every employer in the UK, whether registered under the Act or not.

The Code is being issued in 4 parts over the coming months; the first part deals with Data Protection issues in the area of Recruitment and selection of employees.

The Act itself sets out the legal requirements on Employers; the Code provides benchmarks against which employment practices will be judged by the OIC and, in all likelihood, by the Courts and Tribunals.

Any Employer failing to deal appropriately with Data Protection Issues in relation to its employees may end up with legal ( even criminal ) liability and officers managers and directors are open to action alongside the employer in some cases.

Read Hind Stewart and Cobbetts - two commercial firms of Solicitors due to merge on 1 May 2002 have created aseries of half-day seminar covering:

  • A detailed introduction to the Data Protection Act 1998
  • Coverage of the Employment-related issues arising out of the Act and the Code
  • An examination of the impact of the Act and Code on the Disciplinary and Tribunal Processes
The first seminar deals with detailed examination of the Recruitment and Selection section of the Code.

This seminar will be the first in a series which will take place as future sections of the Code are issued and supplements the current tailored training provided by the firms in this area.

The first round of seminars will be held in Leeds, Manchester and London over the period Mid April to June 2002. Dates and venues are being finalised. The cost, to include documentatiuon, will be 200 plus VAT per attendee.

If you are interested in receiving further details of the seminars please send an email to "[email protected]" without commitment on your part. The email should be sent by 31 March 2002.

"Staff in charge of or with responsibilities for the processing of the personal data of other workers need to know about data protection and receive proper training. Without an adequate training of the staff handling personal data, there could never be appropriate respect for the privacy of workers in the workforce" - EU Article 29 Committee.