The long-awaited Part 2 of the Data Protection Code of Practice, dealing with record management, is now available.
The Code sets out the procedures (and penalties) for storing personal data about employees and job applicants. It also explains the processes under which employees (and unsuccessful job applicants) can insist on obtaining copies of those records (for a £10 fee). The bulk of the Code deals with data collection and storage procedures.
Slightly worryingly, the Code sets out what it regards as 'best practice', without always distinguishing that best practice from legal obligation. It may therefore mislead small employers who lack specialist HR knowledge (if any actually read it!). Having said that, it is an enormously impressive and thorough document, and one which (if followed) is going to ensure that employers follow the spirit as well as the letter of the law.
For information about Part 1 of the Code (recruitment and selection), see the bulletin of 14th March 2002. Part 3 (monitoring at work) is undergoing consultation, and Part 4 (medical information) is not yet available.