What is the purpose of this Policy?
Cowan Architects Limited is committed to protecting the privacy and security of your personal information.
This privacy notice describes how we collect and use personal information about you during and after your working relationship with us, in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
It applies to all employees, workers, contractors and interactions with our website.
Cowan Architects is a “data controller”. This means that we are responsible for deciding how we hold and use personal information about you. We are required under data protection legislation to notify you of the information contained in this privacy notice.
This notice applies to current and former employees, workers and contractors. This notice does not form part of any contract of employment or other contract to provide services. We may update this notice at any time but if we do so, we will provide you with an updated copy of this notice as soon as reasonably practical.
It is important that you read and retain this notice, together with any other privacy notice we may provide on specific occasions when we are collecting or processing personal information about you, so that you are aware of how and why we are using such information and what your rights are under the data protection legislation.
Data protection principles
We will comply with data protection law. This says that the personal information we hold about you must be:
- Used lawfully, fairly and in a transparent way.
- Collected only for valid purposes that we have clearly explained to you and not used in any way that is incompatible with those purposes.
- Relevant to the purposes we have told you about and limited only to those purposes.
- Accurate and kept up to date.
- Kept only as long as necessary for the purposes we have told you about.
- Kept securely.
The kind of information we hold about you
Personal data, or personal information, means any information about an individual from which that person can be identified. It does not include data where the identity has been removed (anonymous data).
There are certain types of more sensitive personal data which require a higher level of protection, such as information about a person’s health or sexual orientation. Information about criminal convictions also warrants this higher level of protection.
We will collect, store, and use the following categories of personal information about you:
• Personal contact details such as name, title, addresses, telephone numbers, and personal email addresses.
• Date of birth.
• Marital status and dependants.
• Next of kin and emergency contact information.
• National Insurance number.
• Bank account details, payroll records and tax status information.
• Salary, annual leave, pension and benefits information.
• Start date and, if different, the date of your continuous employment.
• Leaving date and your reason for leaving.
• Location of employment or workplace.
• Copy of driving licence.
• Recruitment information (including copies of right to work documentation, references and other information included in a CV or cover letter or as part of the application process).
• Employment records (including job titles, work history, working hours, holidays, training records and professional memberships).
• Compensation history.
• Performance information.
• Disciplinary and grievance information.
• Information about your use of our information and communications systems.
• Results of HMRC employment status check, details of your interest in and connection with the intermediary through which your services are supplied.
We may also collect, store and use the following more sensitive types of personal information:
• Information about your race or ethnicity, religious beliefs, sexual orientation and political opinions.
• Trade union membership.
• Information about your health, including any medical condition, health and sickness records, including:
– where you leave employment and under any share plan operated by a group company the reason for leaving is determined to be ill-health, injury or disability, the records relating to that decision;
– details of any absences (other than holidays) from work including time on statutory parental leave and sick leave; and
– where you leave employment and the reason for leaving is related to your health, information about that condition needed for pensions and permanent health insurance purposes.
How is your personal information collected?
We collect personal information about employees, workers and contactors through the application and recruitment process, either directly from candidates or sometimes from an employment agency or background check provider. We may sometimes collect additional information from third parties including former employers, credit reference agencies or other background check agencies We may also collect personal information from the trustees or managers of pension arrangements operated by a group company.
We will collect additional personal information in the course of job-related activities throughout the period of you working for us.
How we will use information about you
We will only use your personal information when the law allows us to. Most commonly, we will use your personal information in the following circumstances:
1. Where we need to perform the contract we have entered into with you.
2. Where we need to comply with a legal obligation.
3. Where it is necessary for legitimate interests pursued by us or a third party and your interests and fundamental rights do not override those interests.
We may also use your personal information in the following situations, which are likely to be rare:
1. Where we need to protect your interests (or someone else’s interests).
2. Where it is needed in the public interest or for official purposes.
Situations in which we will use your personal information
We need all the categories of information in the list above primarily to allow us to perform our contract with you and to enable us to comply with legal obligations. In some cases we may use your personal information to pursue legitimate interests, provided your interests and fundamental rights do not override those interests. The situations in which we will process your personal information are listed below. We have indicated by asterisks where we might also process special categories of your personal data as outlined below.
• Making a decision about your recruitment or appointment.
• Determining the terms on which you work for us.
• Checking you are legally entitled to work in the UK.
• Paying you and, if you are an employee or deemed employee for tax purposes, deducting tax and National Insurance contributions (NICs).
• Providing you with Life Assurance.
• Inviting you to participate in any share plans operated by a group company.
• Granting awards under any share plans operated by a group company.
• Administering your participation in any share plans operated by a group company, including communicating with you about your participation and collecting any tax and NICs due on any share awards.
• Enrolling you in a pension arrangement in accordance with our statutory automatic enrolment duties.
• Liaising with the trustees or managers of a pension arrangement operated by a group company, your pension provider and any other provider of employee benefits.
• Administering the contract we have entered into with you.
• Business management and planning, including accounting and auditing.
• Conducting performance reviews, managing performance and determining performance requirements*.
• Making decisions about salary reviews and compensation.
• Assessing qualifications for a particular job or task, including decisions about promotions.
• Gathering evidence for possible grievance or disciplinary hearings.
• Making decisions about your continued employment or engagement.
• Making arrangements for the termination of our working relationship.
• Education, training and development requirements.
• Dealing with legal disputes involving you, or other employees, workers and contractors, including accidents at work.
• Ascertaining your fitness to work*.
• Managing sickness absence*.
• Complying with health and safety obligations*.
• To prevent fraud.
• To monitor your use of our information and communication systems to ensure compliance with our IT policies.
• To ensure network and information security, including preventing unauthorised access to our computer and electronic communications systems and preventing malicious software distribution.
• Equal opportunities monitoring*.
Some of the above grounds for processing will overlap and there may be several grounds which justify our use of your personal information.
If you fail to provide personal information
If you fail to provide certain information when requested, we may not be able to perform the contract we have entered into with you (such as paying you or providing a benefit), or we may be prevented from complying with our legal obligations (such as to ensure the health and safety of our workers).
Change of purpose
We will only use your personal information for the purposes for which we collected it, unless we reasonably consider that we need to use it for another reason and that reason is compatible with the original purpose. If we need to use your personal information for an unrelated purpose, we will notify you and we will explain the legal basis which allows us to do so.
Please note that we may process your personal information without your knowledge or consent, in compliance with the above rules, where this is required or permitted by law.
How we use particularly sensitive personal information
“Special categories” of particularly sensitive personal information require higher levels of protection. We need to have further justification for collecting, storing and using this type of personal information. We have in place an appropriate policy document and safeguards which we are required by law to maintain when processing such data. We may process special categories of personal information in the following circumstances:
1. In limited circumstances, with your explicit written consent.
2. Where we need to carry out our legal obligations or exercise rights in connection with employment.
3. Where it is needed in the public interest, such as for equal opportunities monitoring.
Less commonly, we may process this type of information where it is needed in relation to legal claims or where it is needed to protect your interests (or someone else’s interests) and you are not capable of giving your consent, or where you have already made the information public.
Our obligations as an employer
We will use your particularly sensitive personal information in the following ways:
• We will use information relating to leaves of absence, which may include sickness absence or family related leaves, to comply with employment and other laws.
• We will use information about your physical or mental health, or disability status, to ensure your health and safety in the workplace and to assess your fitness to work, to provide appropriate workplace adjustments, to monitor and manage sickness absence and to administer benefits including statutory maternity pay, statutory sick pay, pensions and permanent health insurance.
• If you leave employment and under any share plan operated by a group company the reason for leaving is determined to be ill-health, injury or disability, we will use information about your physical or mental health, or disability status in reaching a decision about your entitlements under the share plan.
• If you apply for an ill-health pension under a pension arrangement operated by a group company, we will use information about your physical or mental health in reaching a decision about your entitlement.
• We will use information about your race or national or ethnic origin, religious, philosophical or moral beliefs, or your sexual life or sexual orientation, to ensure meaningful equal opportunity monitoring and reporting.
• We will use trade union membership information to pay trade union premiums, register the status of a protected employee and to comply with employment law obligations.
Do we need your consent?
We do not need your consent if we use special categories of your personal information in accordance with our written policy to carry out our legal obligations or exercise specific rights in the field of employment law. In limited circumstances, we may approach you for your written consent to allow us to process certain particularly sensitive data. If we do so, we will provide you with full details of the information that we would like and the reason we need it, so that you can carefully consider whether you wish to consent. You should be aware that it is not a condition of your contract with us that you agree to any request for consent from us.
Information about criminal convictions
We may only use information relating to criminal convictions where the law allows us to do so. This will usually be where such processing is necessary to carry out our obligations and provided we do so in line with our data protection policy.
Less commonly, we may use information relating to criminal convictions where it is necessary in relation to legal claims, where it is necessary to protect your interests (or someone else’s interests) and you are not capable of giving your consent, or where you have already made the information public.
We may also process such information about members or former members in the course of legitimate business activities with the appropriate safeguards.
We do not envisage that we will hold information about criminal convictions.
Automated decision-making takes place when an electronic system uses personal information to make a decision without human intervention. We are allowed to use automated decision-making in the following circumstances:
1. Where we have notified you of the decision and given you 21 days to request a reconsideration.
2. Where it is necessary to perform the contract with you and appropriate measures are in place to safeguard your rights.
3. In limited circumstances, with your explicit written consent and where appropriate measures are in place to safeguard your rights.
If we make an automated decision on the basis of any particularly sensitive personal information, we must have either your explicit written consent or it must be justified in the public interest, and we must also put in place appropriate measures to safeguard your rights.
You will not be subject to decisions that will have a significant impact on you based solely on automated decision-making, unless we have a lawful basis for doing so and we have notified you.
We do not envisage that any decisions will be taken about you using automated means, however we will notify you in writing if this position changes.
We may have to share your data with third parties, including third-party service providers and other entities in the group.
We require third parties to respect the security of your data and to treat it in accordance with the law.
We may transfer your personal information outside the EU.
If we do, you can expect a similar degree of protection in respect of your personal information.
Why might you share my personal information with third parties?
We will share your personal information with third parties where required by law, where it is necessary to administer the working relationship with you or where we have another legitimate interest in doing so.
Which third-party service providers process my personal information?
“Third parties” includes third-party service providers (including contractors and designated agents) and other entities within our group. The following activities are carried out by third-party service providers: payroll, pension administration, benefits provision and administration, IT services
We will share personal data relating to your participation in any share plans operated by a group company with third party administrators, nominees, registrars and trustees for the purposes of administering the share plans. The following third party service providers process personal data about you for this purpose: Kingston Smith.
We will share personal data