Data protection is important across an entire organization. However, in the human resources department, there is a host of personal details from addresses, next of kin, and sensitive information to consider. As technology takes over the traditional ways of storing information, looking at security and data protection in the virtual space is ever-more crucial for companies.

To ensure you have a handle on data protection within the HR department, take a look at common areas to consider:

1. Storing documentation

For every employee you have, you will be storing sensitive information. This information needs to be protected at all times. You also have a duty to ensure that employees feel happy about where their data is kept. Using a comprehensive and secure HR package can help with this aspect. Each step of the process, from employee onboarding to scheduling and payroll, will streamline your HR function in one place and keep data safe and secure.

2. Processing data and consent to sharing

Every business will need to process data for external and internal functions. However, it’s essential to consider the base for processing data to ensure it is lawful and necessary. There will be some aspects to consider. Some data may be required for legal reasons or a public need, such as hospitals, schools, and government requirements. Companies will also need to think about third party rights to data and whether employees give consent to share it.

3. Communicating data storage and processing

One of the most critical aspects of data processing and storage for companies is to communicate with everyone fully. Transparency and trust are crucial to any organization, and everyone needs to understand their responsibilities from employees to management. Training on best practices is essential, and everyone dealing with HR should know the processes and procedures in place.

4. Monitoring employees

Another aspect of hiring and managing staff is the monitoring process. This could be everything from appraisals to watching security camera footage. Monitoring is an integral part of the HR process as actions and plans are vital to ensure everyone is on the right path. However, this should be undertaken transparently and unobtrusively. Employees have a right to know how they are monitored, whether this is during work hours or after work hours. Evidence of misuse can lead to severe implications for businesses.

5. Access to data

As companies hold a variety of sensitive data from financial records to employee details, there is always a requirement to limit access to this information. Only authorized individuals should have access, and there should be a record of when data is used to ensure a trail is left. HR software is an excellent resource for this, as everything is digitally stored and accessible only to specific people. There will also be a record of the processing carried out by the person accessing the data, including types of data, time periods, and exported information. If there are data breaches, this information will allow a comprehensive investigation.

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