As a data controller, VGC commits to being transparent about how we collect and use personal and sensitive data and to meeting its data protection obligations under the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR).

This policy applies to personal and sensitive data relating to job applicants, employees, workers contractors, former staff, clients and data.

Ciara Pryce, group services director, is the appointed data protection officer (DPO). Any GDPR queries or questions about this policy should be directed to Ciara Pryce at ciara.pryce@vgcgroup.co.uk

Key terms

Personal data – any information that relates to a living individual who can be identified from that information

Processing – any use of data, including collecting, storing, amending, disclosing or destroying it
Sensitive data – information about a person’s race or ethnic origin, religious or philosophical beliefs, trade union membership, physical and mental health, political opinions and sexual orientation
Data controller – a person or organisation which decides on how and why personal data is processed

Data processor – the person or organisation which processes personal data on behalf of the data controller

Data protection principles

We will

  • process personal data lawfully, fairly and in a transparent manner
  • collect data only for specified and legitimate purposes
  • collect data that is adequate, relevant, and limited to what is necessary
  • ensure that data is accurate and kept up to date, and take every reasonable step to correct or delete data that is inaccurate without delay
  • keep data only as long as necessary
  • ensure that appropriate security is in place to protect data against unauthorised or unlawful processing, accidental loss, destruction or damage
  • process data in accordance with the rights of data subjects.

Legal bases for processing

VGC will only process personal data where it has a legal basis. We process data

  • to administer work-finding services for work seekers and clients
  • to meet statutory and contractual obligations such as wage payment and benefit and pension entitlements
  • to comply with legal obligations such as checking entitlement to work in the UK, HMRC deductions and health and safety laws
  • to obtain occupational health advice, to comply with duties in relation to people with disabilities and to meet obligations under health and safety law
  • to respond to and defend against legal claims
  • to maintain and promote equality in the workplace
  • to implement high quality health and safety systems
  • for certain positions, we must carry out criminal records checks to ensure that individuals are permitted to undertake the role in question.

We may be required to disclose personal data relating to a safety issue or breach of the RTAS scheme rules.

We will keep a register of our data processing activities, legal reasons for processing and retention periods in accordance with the requirements of the GDPR.

Where we rely on legitimate interests as the basis for processing data, we have checked that those interests are not overridden by the rights and freedoms of individuals.

We tell people why we are processing their personal data, how we use such it and the legal basis for processing.

Rights of data subjects

Subject access requests

Please email the data protection officer to ask for access to your personal data. We will respond to a request within 30 days. If you request large amount of data, we may extend the response period to within three months. We will write to the you within one month of receiving the original request if we need an extended response period.

Rectify inaccurate data

We will update your personal data promptly if you tell us that your information has changed or is inaccurate. If we have given the personal data to a third party such as a client, we will tell them to rectify your personal data, unless this proves impossible or disproportionate. VGC will not be able to audit this.

Erasure

You have the right to ask VGC to erase personal data. Please inform the data protection officer if you want us to remove your data completely, or to keep your details on a list of individuals not to be contacted.

If you have asked to have your data erased completely we cannot keep a record that you do not wish to be contacted which may result in you being contacted by us at some time in the future.

We may still need to hold data for legal or official reasons. In this case we will tell you, and we will keep only what is necessary to meet those specific legal reasons.

Restriction of processing

You have the right to restrict the processing of personal data if

  • you believe it is inaccurate
  • the processing is unlawful but you do not want your data to be erased
  • your personal data is no longer needed to be processed except for legal claims
  • you have objected to processing while it is decided if our legitimate grounds override yours.

Data portability

You have the right to receive a copy of the personal data that we hold in a structured, commonly-used and machine readable format. You have the right to request that VGC transmit this data directly to another data controller. If you do, we will send your personal data directly where possible.

Object to processing

You have the right to object to the processing or profiling of your personal data based on a public or a legitimate interest.

If you do object, we will stop processing unless we have compelling legitimate grounds to continue to process the personal data, and these override your interests, rights and freedoms.

If you want to exercise these rights, send a written request to the data protection officer.

We will act upon any request within one month. We may extend this period for two further months where necessary, depending on the complexity and the number of requests.

If we consider that your request is manifestly unfounded or excessive (for example if it is repetitive), we may refuse to act on the request, or we may charge a reasonable fee based on the administrative costs involved.

Everyone has the following rights under the Human Rights Act 1998 (HRA):

  • right to respect for private and family life
  • freedom of thought, belief and religion
  • freedom of expression
  • freedom of assembly and association
  • protection from discrimination.

Data protection by design and by default

VGC takes the security of your data very seriously. We have internal policies and controls to ensure that your data is not lost, accidentally destroyed, misused or disclosed, and is not accessed except by data processors in the performance of their duties.

We take measures to protect personal data from incidents (either accidentally or deliberately) and avoid a data protection breach that could compromise security.

Organisational measures:

  • Appointment of data protection officer
  • Departmental managers with day-to-day responsibility for data security measures such as ensuring filing cabinets are locked and data is not released without relevant disclosure signatures.
  • Procedures for decommissioning and disposing of IT equipment and dealing with any lost equipment
  • Restricted access to premises and equipment
  • We brief our staff on our data protection and security processes
  • External GDPR training and refresher training
  • Responsibility for protecting personal data is included in job descriptions
  • Included in disciplinary procedure – including the possibility that they may commit criminal offences if they deliberately try to access, or to disclose, information without authority
  • HR procedures on disclosing information to callers

Technological:

  • Perimeter security – IPS, IDS firewall with advanced malware protection
  • Email security – reputation based filtering, advanced malware protection, TLS enabled
  • Endpoint security – all endpoints are encrypted and protected by an advanced malware protection system
  • Storage – all the information data is encrypted at storage level
  • Endpoint encryption including mobile phones
  • Periodic checks to ensure that VGC’s security measures remain appropriate and up to date
  • Monitoring network activity including websites being accessed, downloads of information, unauthorised access attempts
  • Deploying a modern breach detection tools across our network to inform of any unauthorised attempt to access data and report on use of malware or malicious systems
  • IT training on how to detect hacking attempts and phishing
  • Staff training on the dangers of people trying to obtain personal data by deception, phishing attacks or by computer viruses

Physical security:

  • swipe card security
  • alarms
  • CCTV
  • Shredders and confidential waste bins
  • Computer security – malware detection, virus scanners

Where VGC engages third parties to process personal data, they receive written instructions, are under a duty of confidentiality and are obliged to implement appropriate technical and organisational measures to ensure the security of data.

VGC does not subject individuals to decisions based solely on automated decision-making.

We regularly review these measures to make sure they are effective.

Any suspected breach will be fully investigated by the DPO. A deliberate or accidental action (or inaction) by a data controller or processor resulting in a data protection breach is a disciplinary offence and will be dealt with under our disciplinary procedure. It may be considered a gross misconduct offence and could lead to summary dismissal. A failure to report a suspected data breach may lead to disciplinary processes.

If a breach occurs or is discovered, it will be reported to the DPO as soon as possible. The DPO will assess the risk and establish the likelihood and severity of the risk to people’s rights and freedoms.

If the security incident will have an adverse effect on the individuals involved, with a high risk to their rights and freedoms, the DPO will report the personal data breach to them and the relevant supervisory authority within 72 hours of the breach.

A record of the breach will be kept on a data security incident register.

Training

VGC will provide training to all relevant staff about their data protection responsibilities as part of the induction process.
Staff members whose roles require regular access to personal data, or who are responsible for implementing this policy or responding to subject access requests, will receive additional training to help them understand their duties and how to comply with them.

Complaints

If you believe that VGC has not complied with your data protection rights, you should inform the data protection officer. You have the right to lodge any complaints to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) directly on 0303 123 1113.

Laurence Mckidd, managing director
June 2019

This policy confirms the commitments of VGC Group and its companies, including VGC Labour Solutions, VGC Construction, VGC Rail Projects and VGC Personnel.