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Jenny, Solicitor
Category: Law
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Holiday forms - Data Protection. We used to have a holiday

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Holiday forms - Data Protection. We used to have a holiday chart that could be accessed by all office personnel (although password ***** so only designated staff could amend) that could be viewed on line, in conjunction with a "leave book" that housed all staff leave forms held on Reception. The holiday chart has been deleted and the leave book removed. Staff have been instructed to make sure their online calendars are kept up to date with appointments, external meetings and marked out of office to denote when they will be absent on annual leave. I am now being told I cannot view the leave book, which as previously mentioned was held on Reception and as such was accessible to all staff members, as this is now viewed as "Human Resources documentation" and holiday forms fall within data protection; the point being cited that if details are in an online calendar, you have to ask a member of staff for their permission to "share" their calendar on line, this does not breach data protection. However, if you ask to look at the leave book to check your own leave has been documented correctly, as it may afford you the opportunity of looking at other people's forms, and as such they have not granted you permission to view (even though you may have been granted permission to view their online movements/leave), it's a breach of data protection. So for example, I have access to my boss's online diary; if he asked me to check the leave book to see if his leave had been authorised to check how much holiday entitlement he has remaining, I am being refused under data protection on the grounds above-mentioned. Is this correct? If this is the case, is there a case to argue why was the leave book allowed to be left on Reception? i.e. if the directive to remove this has come from a member of staff two weeks ago, but said member of staff has been in the employ of the company for the past 6 weeks, are they at fault? Who within a company has the right to decide if holiday forms fall under data protection, i.e. do they have to be appointed HR Director? If when a new member of staff joined the company, staff were advised by email their role was "office services" , i.e. no reference was made to an HR remit, should we have been advised at the time their remit included HR, and if not, (and if they are not HR) do they have the right to refuse access to the leave book? In effect, are they in breach because if I have not given them permission to view my online leave, by the same token they should not be permitted access to the leave book because it affords them the opportunity to peruse my leave forms? Also, are leave forms classed as "HR documentation" in the same way as sickness forms, absence forms/appraisal forms etc.,
Would appreciate your advice by return email.
Kind regards.
Celia Jones ***@******.***
Hello my name is ***** ***** I am happy to help you today.
This is an interesting question have you been put at threat of disciplinary action because of this?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Hi Jenny

No, we are just being refused access to the leave book for the reasons above mentioned, plus despite several requests to reinstate the leave chart on line, this is also being stalled.


Ok thanks, ***** ***** essentially up to management to decide what access to the leave book is allowed.
I'm not convinced that allowing access to it would contravene data protection rules, dates of holidays and names of staff hardly amounts to sensitive personal data! However there must be a reason that management do not want staff to have this access.
I would suggest raising a grievance to ask which Data Protection principle they say this breaches?
It may be that they have simply misunderstood the legal position and that they are being hyper cautious.
It is akin to not allowing staff to have access to rotas which is just not what the purpose of the Data Protection Rules are for.
I hope this helps.
If you have any further questions please do ask. If I have answered your question I would be grateful if you would take the time to rate my answer. Thank you and all the best.
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