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What do we need to do?

Privacy policy – You must make sure the relevant privacy policies deal with how you will process Covid-19 data. You should have an employee privacy policy and this may already deal with health data (if it doesn’t, it should). You might also need to look at privacy policies for customers, visitors and suppliers. This ensures that processing is lawful, fair and transparent.

Lawful processing conditions – You will need to consider which processing conditions you are relying on (remembering that you need both an Article 6 condition and an Article 9 condition – this is the part of the GDPR which deals with special category data). As a lot of the data you collect will be about employees, you can’t use consent so you will have to find another lawful reason under GDPR which allows you to process the data.

Appropriate policy document – When you are considering your Article 9 processing conditions, remember you must also have an “appropriate policy document” in place.

Processing record – Finally make sure your processing record is up to date with information on what data you collect and use.

Related FAQs

What does information and consultation involve?

There are two stages:

  • Stage 1 – The provision of written information to the representatives.
  • Stage 2 – Consultation on the proposed redundancies “with a view to reaching agreement” about certain matters

Stage 1: Provision of information

The first stage in the collective consultation process is to provide the representatives with written information including details of the proposed redundancies (often called a section 188 letter). This information must be given to the appropriate representatives and the time limit before dismissals can take effect does not start to run until they have received it. It is this information which ‘starts the clock’.

It is possible that there will be changes to the proposals during the consultation process: indeed that is part of the reason for the process. The employer’s obligation is not just to provide the appropriate representatives with the relevant information at the start of the process. It is under a continuing obligation to provide them with information in writing about any developments during the consultation process (although later changes do not ‘restart the clock’ before dismissals can take effect).

Stage 2: Consultation on the proposed redundancies “with a view to reaching agreement” about certain matters

The consultation process must include consultation “with a view to reaching agreement with the appropriate representatives” on ways of:

  • Avoiding the dismissals
  • Reducing the number of employees to be dismissed
  • Mitigating the consequences of the dismissals
I have trespassers occupying my land. Can I evict them?

On 18 April 2020, it was announced that an exception to the current stay in possession proceedings and ban on all evictions has been made to allow possession orders to be made against trespassers.

This means land owners can take action to remove unauthorised persons occupying their land. Trespassers include: squatters; travellers; failed successors of secure tenancies; and licensees whose licences have been terminated.

Further, the automatic stay to possession proceedings currently imposed no longer applies to applications for interim possession orders meaning any persons found to be “squatting” on land without permission may again be subject to an order requiring them to leave your premises within 24 hours of service of that order.

Do you need a new written agreement for Flexible Furlough?

You should already have a written furlough agreement with your furloughed employees, but if you move them to flexible furlough then you need a new agreement that confirms the new furlough arrangement.

So, you’ll need to speak to your employees and confirm the hours of work with them in writing (or reach a collective agreement with a recognised Trade Union.

As before, an employee does not need to provide a written response. But the agreement needs to be documented in writing.

What happens if someone is asked to restrict their duties but, despite acknowledging the risks to their health involved, they say that they want to continue to work on the front line?

As their employer, you have an overriding duty to provide a safe system of work. The Trust would not be able to run a defence to say that an employee “waived their rights” and chose to continue to work. Provided the decision around restricting duties has been carefully thought out, a full risk assessment undertaken and the employee has been truly consulted about the impact on them, then the decision taken will be a reasonable management instruction. Failing to follow that reasonable management instruction could amount to a disciplinary offence.

How do I access the scheme?

Those who are eligible will be contacted directly by HMRC based on tax returns they have received. If you are eligible you will be asked to fill out an online application. HMRC will pay applicants directly.