HR Employee Privacy Notice

HR Employee Privacy Notice

Privacy Notice for Employees, Workers and Contractors

What is the purpose of this document?

The University 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, and contractors current and former. The University 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 does not form part of any contract of employment or other contract to provide services. We may update this notice at any time.

It is important that you read 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.

Data protection principles

We will comply with data protection law. This says that the personal information we hold about you must be:

  1. Used lawfully, fairly and in a transparent way.
  2. Collected only for valid purposes that we have clearly explained to you and not used in any way that is incompatible with those purposes.
  3. Relevant to the purposes we have told you about and limited only to those purposes.
  4. Accurate and kept up to date.
  5. Kept only as long as necessary for the purposes we have told you about.
  6. 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 "special categories" of more sensitive personal data which require a 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 (including payment information held on University systems where appropriate), pension, earnings and tax-related information.
  • Salary, annual leave, pension and benefits information.
  • Start date.
  • Location of employment or workplace.
  • Copy of driving licence, if applicable.
  • Recruitment information (including copies of right to work documentation, references and other information included in a CV, supporting statement or cover letter or as part of the application process), applications made via a third party such as recruitment agencies, and employment references.
  • Employment records. Personal data built up about you during your employment e.g. work allocation, earnings, incremental pay and grading records; timesheets; absence, sickness, training, medical, maternity, paternity, adoption, parental, leave and other records; performance management; providing you with IT facilities and support, and equality and diversity information (please see below)
  • Copy of Passport and any other right to work documentation provided.
  • Performance information and staff development, such as training records
  • Disciplinary and grievance information.
  • CCTV footage ( please see separate policy)
  • Lecturecast Recordings, if applicable
  • Information about your use of our information and communications systems and information obtained through the use of your staff identity card
  • Photographs for the purpose of your staff identity card and the staff directory
  • Disclosure Scotland scheme membership number, if applicable.
  • Certificate of Motor Insurance, if applicable.
  • References received by the University from third parties, e.g. in connection with employment in the University or for academic promotion, and also references produced by the University and sent to third parties, e.g. in connection with other potential employment.

We may also collect, store and use the following "special categories" of more sensitive personal information:

  • Information about your race or ethnicity, religious beliefs, sexual orientation, gender identity and nationality
  • Trade union subscriptions, for the purposes of deduction from pay
  • Information about your health, including any medical condition, disability, health and sickness records and occupational health reports.
  • Occupational Health Records, includes any consultant, GP reports and any other information you provide to the Occupational Health Advisor.
  • Information about criminal convictions and offences, if applicable
  • Information and Communications Technology (ICT)
    • Creating, managing and closing user accounts
    • Logging and managing ICT fault reporting and call resolution
    • Maintaining a record of ICT assets
    • Monitoring and investigating the use of ICT systems to ensure compliance with our institutional policies and relevant legislation.
    • Creating and managing logs of system/service use
    • Responding to actual or suspected security breaches
    • Sanitisation of ICT hardware before disposal, or following loss

How is your personal information collected?

We collect personal information about employees, workers and contractors 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.

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 our legitimate interests (or those of 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 (see paragraph 3) primarily to allow us to perform our contract with you [*¹] and to enable us to comply with legal obligations [*²]. In some cases we may use your personal information to pursue legitimate interests of our own or those of third parties [*³], 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 *¹, *² and/or *³ the purpose or purposes for which we are processing or will process your personal information.

  • Making a decision about your recruitment or appointment.*¹
  • Determining the terms on which you work for us.*¹*²
  • Checking you are legally entitled to work in the UK.*²
  • Payroll administration: making salary and other contractual payments, processing statutory (e.g. tax and national insurance) payroll deductions and managing expense claims and reimbursements (this can include making details of expense claims available into the public domain, in response to requests for information, which require a response under freedom of information or environmental information legislation), notifying employees of their employment-related tax liabilities, in support of salary sacrifice schemes (cycle to work, childcare) and employee benefit schemes within Abersave.*¹*²
  • Liaising with the University’s pension schemes and administering payments of employers' and employees' contributions to pension schemes.*¹*²
  • Research administration: applying for research funding, administering research income (including monitoring the use of funds and ensuring compliance with terms and conditions of funding; preparing reports and other information on the use of funds for funding providers), research planning and design (defining project roles and responsibilities; securing necessary ethical reviews and regulatory approvals; determining requirements for project resources; preparing research proposals), research publications (planning and preparing content: commissioning, research, writing, editing for publication; designing publications; producing publications), making research publications available via institutional and other repositories, citation analysis of publications and conducting internal reviews of research quality and standards; facilitating and participating in external reviews of research quality and standards (e.g. Research Excellent Framework).*¹
  • Administering the contract we have entered into with you.*¹
  • Conducting performance reviews, managing performance and determining performance requirements.*¹
  • Assessing qualifications for a particular job or task.*¹
  • Making remuneration decisions on: academic promotions, re-grading applications, grade 10 pay review, Professorial pay review.*¹
  • Gathering evidence for possible grievance or disciplinary hearings.*²
  • Making decisions about your continued employment or engagement.*¹
  • Making arrangements for the termination of our working relationship.*²
  • Education, training and development requirements.*¹
  • Dealing with legal disputes involving you, or other employees, workers and contractors, including accidents at work.*²
  • Ascertaining your fitness to work.*¹
  • Managing sickness absence.*¹
  • Complying with health and safety obligations.*²
  • To prevent fraud.*²
  • To monitor your use of our information and communication systems to ensure compliance with our IT policies.*¹
  • To ensure network and information security, including preventing unauthorised access to our computer and electronic communications systems and preventing malicious software distribution.*¹
  • Administering IT and Library services: granting access to information and communication systems and Library services, including Wifi and University network.*¹
  • Equal opportunities monitoring and analysis, including reporting on an anonymous basis for the purposes of internal management information, external awards and compliance with legal obligations.*²

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 or in relation to our occupational pension scheme.

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. We may also process such information about employees or former employees in the course of legitimate business activities with the appropriate safeguards.

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 leave, 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.
  • 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 subscription information to pay trade union subscriptions
  • We will use any criminal conviction information to assess whether you are still suitable for the role that you are in and/or if your role needs a specific disclosure.

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 will only collect information about criminal convictions if it is appropriate given the nature of the role and where we are legally able to do so. Where appropriate, we will collect information about criminal convictions as part of the recruitment process or we may be notified of such information directly by you in the course of you working for us. We will use information about criminal convictions and offences in the following ways:

  • Assess your suitability for the role you are in; and
  • To comply with Protected Vulnerable Groups Act 2006

Automated decision-making

We do not envisage that any decisions will be taken about you using automated means. We will notify you in writing if this position changes.

Data sharing

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-parties process my personal information?

"Third parties" includes third-party service providers.  The University will pass on to certain agents/suppliers personal data as necessary to enable them to provide services to the University under contract. 

Before an agent of the University will be given access to personal data for which the University is responsible as data controller, contractual terms will exist between the University and that party which specify and limit the uses that can be made of the personal data it is provided with or given access to through the University; and establish to the University’s satisfaction that the agent has in place sufficient organisational and technical means to protect personal information made available to them against accidental loss or any form of unauthorised access and subsequent use.

Third-party service providers may process personal information about you for purposes including the following:

  • HR and Payroll administration
  • Research administration
  • Pension administration
  • Meeting immigration requirements
  • Employee benefits administration, including car parking and discount schemes
  • Staff identity card administration
  • Use of the University’s online store
  • Internal and External Audit

How secure is my information with third-party service providers?

All our 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 our instructions.

What about other third parties?

We may share your personal information with other third parties, for example in the context of the possible restructuring to which the TUPE regulations apply. 

If you are required to be registered with a professional regulatory body for your role we may share  your personal information with the regulatory body as required by its standards and requirements or to otherwise comply with the law. You will be informed of any such referral.

The University is required to provide your information to the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) in an anonymous form, including a unique HESA identification number. 

For more information about HESA and your personal data, please visit:

For more information on their privacy and security notice, please visit:

Transferring information outside the EU

Personal data may also be transferred outside the European Union in order to perform our contract with you.  Such countries may not have equivalent data protection laws to the EU. However, the University will only transfer data to countries outside the EU when satisfied that both the party which handles the data and the country it is processing it in provide adequate safeguards for personal privacy.  Examples of circumstances when personal data may be transferred outside the EU include:

  • Participation in and management of collaborations with overseas educational institutions including staff and student exchanges and academic partnership programmes, including UK and overseas research and teaching.
  • Working with overseas student recruitment agencies, and academic partner institutions, where appropriate.
  • Information posted on the University’s website which is accessible outside the EU.
  • Some of the systems and services the University uses store data in the ‘cloud’, and this may include storage facilities based outside the EU.
  • The University uses Microsoft Office 365, cloud-based file sync and share solutions, for which personal data are stored within the European Economic Area.
  • The University uses Exlibris’s Alma Library Management System, cloud-based solution, for which personal data are stored within the European Economic Area.

However, to ensure that your personal information does receive an adequate level of protection we have put in place appropriate measures to ensure that your personal information is treated by those third parties in a way that is consistent with and which respects the EU and UK laws on data protection.

Data security

We have put in place appropriate security measures to prevent your personal information from being accidentally lost, used or accessed in an unauthorised way, altered or disclosed. In addition, we limit access to your personal information to those employees, agents, contractors and other third parties who have a business need to know. They will only process your personal information on our instructions and they are subject to a duty of confidentiality.

Details of these measures may be obtained from reading the following Third Party Policies which can be found here:

We have also put in place procedures to deal with any suspected data security breach and will notify you and any applicable regulator of a suspected breach where we are legally required to do so. You can find the appropriate policies clicking the link above

Data retention

We will only retain your personal information for as long as necessary to fulfil the purposes we collected it for, including for the purposes of satisfying any legal, accounting, or reporting requirements. Details of retention periods for different aspects of your personal information are available in our retention policy. To determine the appropriate retention period for personal data, we consider the amount, nature, and sensitivity of the personal data, the potential risk of harm from unauthorised use or disclosure of your personal data, the purposes for which we process your personal data and whether we can achieve those purposes through other means, and the applicable legal requirements.

In some circumstances we may anonymise your personal information so that it can no longer be associated with you, in which case we may use such information without further notice to you. Once you are no longer an employee, worker, or contractor of the University we will retain and securely destroy your personal information in accordance with retention policy.

There may be occasions when the University is required to keep personal data for longer time periods. Where this is the case, best practice records retention periods from Jisc will be used to help determine the relevant storage times. 

Rights of access, correction, erasure, and restriction

1. Your duty to inform us of changes

It is important that the personal information we hold about you is accurate and current. Please keep us informed if your personal information changes during your working relationship with us.

2. Your rights in connection with personal information

Under certain circumstances, by law you have the right to:

  • Request access to your personal information (commonly known as a "data subject access request"). This enables you to receive a copy of the personal information we hold about you and to check that we are lawfully processing it.
  • Request correction of the personal information that we hold about you. This enables you to have any incomplete or inaccurate information we hold about you corrected.
  • Request erasure of your personal information. This enables you to ask us to delete or remove personal information where there is no good reason for us continuing to process it. You also have the right to ask us to delete or remove your personal information where you have exercised your right to object to processing (see below).
  • Object to processing of your personal information where we are relying on a legitimate interest (or those of a third party) and there is something about your particular situation which makes you want to object to processing on this ground. You also have the right to object where we are processing your personal information for direct marketing purposes.
  • Request the restriction of processing of your personal information. This enables you to ask us to suspend the processing of personal information about you, for example if you want us to establish its accuracy or the reason for processing it.
  • Request the transfer of your personal information to another party.

If you want to review, verify, correct or request erasure of your personal information, object to the processing of your personal data, or request that we transfer a copy of your personal information to another party, please email

3. No fee usually required

You will not have to pay a fee to access your personal information (or to exercise any of the other rights). However, we may charge a reasonable fee if your request for access is clearly unfounded or excessive. Alternatively, we may refuse to comply with the request in such circumstances.

4. What we may need from you

We may need to request specific information from you to help us confirm your identity and ensure your right to access the information (or to exercise any of your other rights). This is another appropriate security measure to ensure that personal information is not disclosed to any person who has no right to receive it.

Right to withdraw consent

In the limited circumstances where you may have provided your consent to the collection, processing and transfer of your personal information for a specific purpose, you have the right to withdraw your consent for that specific processing at any time. To withdraw your consent, please email Once we have received notification that you have withdrawn your consent, we will no longer process your information for the purpose or purposes you originally agreed to, unless we have another legitimate basis for doing so in law.

Data protection officer

We have appointed a data protection officer (DPO) to oversee compliance with this privacy notice. If you have any questions about this privacy notice or how we handle your personal information, please contact the DPO. You have the right to make a complaint at any time to the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO), the UK supervisory authority for data protection issues.

Changes to this privacy notice

We reserve the right to update this privacy notice at any time, and we will provide you with a new privacy notice when we make any substantial updates. We may also notify you in other ways from time to time about the processing of your personal information.

If you have any questions about this privacy notice, please email

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