ICO issues new guidance on transfer of employee information

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The Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations, better known as TUPE, ensures that employees’ terms and conditions of employment are preserved when a business or undertaking is transferred to a new employer.

To achieve this, TUPE requires that certain information is provided to the new employer before the transfer takes place. T

his will include details of pay, contracted hours, holiday entitlement and any details of disciplinary or grievance action relating to that employee.

The Data Protection Act does not prevent the transfer of this information as it is a requirement by law. However, both parties must comply with the Act when handling the information, for example ensuring it is accurate, up-to-date and secure.

Phil Jones, Assistant Commissioner at the ICO, said businesses should limit the information they transfer.

“Organisations should consider their data protection obligations early in the transfer process and only transfer the information required by the new employer," he said.

"Additionally, if not prevented by insider trading restrictions, employees should be told that their information is going to be passed on.”