Job Applicant Privacy Notice

Data Controller: Accord Housing Association Ltd, 178 Birmingham Road, West Bromwich, West Midlands B70 6QG.

Does this Notice Apply to You?
This privacy notice applies to all applicants that are not currently staff members of Accord Housing Association. If you are applying for a promotion or another job in the organisation and are already employed by Accord Housing Association, please refer to the privacy notice for staff.

What is the Purpose of this Document?
Accord Housing Association Ltd 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 the application process, in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Data Protection Act 2018, and any national laws, regulations and secondary legislation, as amended or updated from time to time, in the United Kingdom, and any other territory which implements the GDPR.

Accord Housing Association Ltd will be your 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.

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:

  • 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

How Your Personal Data May Be Used
Here at Accord Housing Association Ltd we take your privacy seriously. As part of Accord’s recruitment process, we collect and process personal data relating to job applicants. We are committed to being transparent about how we collect and use that data and to meeting our data protection obligations.

What Personal Data Does Accord Collect?
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.

Accord collects a range of personal data about you that is relevant to your application. This includes:

  • your name, address and contact details, including email address and telephone number;
  • date of birth;
  • gender;
  • marital status and dependents;
  • national insurance number;
  • next of kin and emergency contact information;
  • copy of driving licence;
  • references;
  • information included in a CV or cover letter or as part of the application process;
  • details of your qualifications, skills, experience and employment history, including any gaps in employment and referees and job titles, work history and professional memberships;
  • information about your current level of remuneration, including benefit entitlements;
  • Any cautions or convictions you have, including any pending criminal charges, and your health and mental fitness for the post under Schedule 3 of the Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2014.
  • Whether you are related to an Accord Committee member, existing member of staff, an Accord Contractor or an Accord tenant. (Schedule 1 information).
  • whether or not you have a disability for which we need to make reasonable adjustments during the recruitment process; and
  • Information about your entitlement to work in the UK such as passports, visas or national identity cards.

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 and political opinions.
  • Information about your health, including any medical condition, health and sickness records.
  • Information about criminal convictions and offences.

Accord may collect this information in a variety of ways. For example, data might be contained in application forms, CVs or resumes, obtained from your passport or other identity documents, or collected through interviews or other forms of assessment, including online tests.

Accord may also collect personal data about you from third parties, such as references supplied by former employers, information from employment background check providers and information from criminal records checks.

Data will be stored in a range of different places, including on your application record, in HR management systems and on other IT systems (including email).

Accord may use different web-based job application services in order to advertise vacant roles and to obtain job applications. In some instances, Accord will be known as the “Controller” of the personal data you provide, meaning that it is responsible for what personal data is collected and how it is accessed, shared or deleted. Typically this occurs when you apply directly for a role with Accord or via a web-based job application service where your personal data is sent directly to us.

Accord also used job application services where it is the “Processor”. Typically this is where you do not provide us with your personal data directly but via a job application website. In this instance we will process the personal data in exactly the same manner but we will have a Data Sharing Agreement with the third party who provides the job application service. We will only enter into such an agreement where we can guarantee that your personal data is accessed securely, is accessed only by those who have a legitimate interest or lawful purpose to access it, and where the personal data can be securely removed after a specific period of time.

Why Accord Collects Your Personal Data
We will only use your personal information where the law allows us to. Accord needs to process personal data to take steps at your request prior to entering into a contract with you. It may also need to process your data to enter into a contract with you.

In some cases, Accord needs to process personal data to ensure that it is complying with its legal obligations. For example, it is required to check a successful applicant's eligibility to work in the UK before employment starts.

We may also use your personal information in the following situations, which are likely to be rare:

  • Where we need to protect your interests (or someone else’s interests);
  • Where it is needed in the public interest or for official purposes.

We need all the categories of information in the list above primarily to allow us to enable us to comply with legal obligations.

  • 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 work location in which you are based
  • Assessing qualifications for a particular job or task.
  • Education, training and development requirements
  • Dealing with legal disputes involving you, or other employees, workers and contractors.
  • Ascertaining your fitness to work.
  • Complying with health and safety obligations.
  • To prevent fraud.
  • 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.

Accord has a legitimate interest in processing personal data during the recruitment process and for keeping records of the process. Processing data from job applicants allows Accord to manage the recruitment process, assess and confirm a candidate's suitability for employment and decide to whom to offer a job. Accord may also need to process data from job applicants to respond to and defend against legal claims.

"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 may process special categories of personal information in the following circumstances:

  • In limited circumstances, with your explicit written consent. If we need your consent we will contact you separately about this.
  • Where we need to carry out our legal obligations and in line with our Data Protection policy.
  • Where it is needed in the public interest, such as for equal opportunities monitoring or, and in line with our Data Protection policy and HR Equal Opportunities and Diversity policy.
  • Where it is needed to assess your working capacity on health grounds, subject to appropriate confidentiality safeguards.

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 will use your particularly sensitive personal information in the following ways:

  • 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 and disability status, to ensure meaningful equal opportunity monitoring and reporting and to comply with employment and other laws.

Accord may process special categories of data, such as information about ethnic origin, sexual orientation or religion or belief, to monitor recruitment statistics. It may also collect information about whether or not applicants are disabled to make reasonable adjustments for candidates who have a disability. Accord processes such information to carry out its obligations and exercise specific rights in relation to employment.

For some roles, Accord is obliged to seek information about criminal convictions and offences. Where Accord seeks this information, it does so because it is necessary for it to carry out its obligations and exercise specific rights in relation to employment. Under The Childcare (Disqualification) Regulations 2009, section 75 of the Childcare Act 2006, this may also include convictions or cautions of family members or any lodgers living with you.

Accord will not use your data for any purpose other than the recruitment exercise for which you have applied.

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 connection with your employment. 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 employment 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 hold information about criminal convictions.

We will only collect information about criminal convictions if it is appropriate given the nature of the role applied for 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 the recruitment process. We will use information about criminal convictions and offences as part of the assessment for initial hiring.

Who Has Access To Personal Data?
Your information may be shared internally for the purposes of the recruitment exercise. This includes members of the HR and recruitment team, interviewers involved in the recruitment process, managers in the business area with a vacancy and IT staff if access to the data is necessary for the performance of their roles.

Accord will not share your data with third parties unless your application for employment is successful and it makes you an offer of employment. Accord will then share your data with former employers to obtain references for you, employment background check providers to obtain necessary background checks and the Disclosure and Barring Service to obtain necessary criminal records checks.

"Third parties" includes third-party service providers (including contractors and designated agents) and other entities within our group.

All our third-party service providers and other entitled 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.

Accord will not transfer your data outside the European Economic Area.

How does Accord Protect Personal Data?
Accord has internal policies and controls in place – such as an Information Security Policy, a Data Protection Policy and a Data Retention Policy - to ensure that your data is not lost, accidentally destroyed, misused or disclosed, and is not accessed except by our employees in the proper performance of their duties.

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.

We have 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.

For How Long Does Accord Keep Personal Data?
If your application for employment is unsuccessful, Accord will hold your data on file for 12 months after the end of the relevant recruitment process. At the end of that period, your personal data is deleted or destroyed.
If your application for employment is successful, personal data gathered during the recruitment process will be transferred to your personnel file and retained during your employment. The periods for which your personal data will be held will be provided to you in a new privacy notice.
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. 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. If you are unsuccessful in your application, we will retain and securely destroy your personal information in accordance with our Data Retention policy.

Your Rights
As a Data Subject, you have a number of rights over the way in which Accord processes your Personal Data.

If you would like to exercise any of the rights below, please contact Accord’s Data Protection Officer (dpo@accordgroup.org.uk) or write to us at Data Protection Officer, Accord Housing Association Ltd, 178 Birmingham Road, West Bromwich B70 6QG.

  • You can request a copy of the Personal Data that we hold about you by using one of the following options:
    1. completing a Subject Access Request form (available from our website),
    2. emailing us, at dsar@accordgroup.org.uk, or
    3. writing to us at: Subject Access Request, Accord Housing Association Ltd, 178 Birmingham Road, West Bromwich B70 6QG.
    Completing a request online or via email will generally be a quicker process than relying upon post. We will generally provide information electronically via password-protected PDF so that it remains secure when sent.
  • We want to make sure that your Personal Data is accurate and up to date. If you believe that the information we hold is incorrect and needs to be updated, please contact us and we will help to make sure that the information is updated.
  • You have a right for Personal Data to be forgotten as long as it is not essential to the job application process. Contact us if you would like your Personal Data to be deleted.
  • You have a right to 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.
  • You have a right to 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.
  • You have a right to request the transfer of your personal information to another party.
  • If you wish to raise a complaint on how we have handled your Personal Data, you can contact us and we will investigate your query within 72 hours.

If you believe that Accord has not complied with your data protection rights, you can complain to the Information Commissioners Office via the following web-site (https://ico.org.uk/concerns/handling).

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.

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.

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. 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.

What If You Do Not Provide Personal Data?
You are under no statutory or contractual obligation to provide data to Accord during the recruitment process. However, if you do not provide the information, Accord may not be able to process your application properly or at all.

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.

Automated Decision-Making
Accord does not use any automated decision-making at any point throughout the job application process.

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.

Consent

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