ICO consults on new guidance for UK employers

9 November 2022 | Applicable law: England and Wales

The Information Commissioner’s Office (‘ICO’) published its current employment practices code in 2011. Recognising that the world of work has changed considerably since then, it is now publishing new draft guidance in sections, seeking responses in a staged consultation exercise. 

During October 2022 it published the first two sections.

Monitoring at work

Draft guidance on monitoring at work is open for consultation until 11 January 2023 and is accompanied by an impact scoping document, which provides a high level outline of the context and possible impact of the draft guidance.

The draft guidance covers a range of topics that regularly cause employers concern including how and when monitoring can be undertaken lawfully, and how to maintain transparency, fairness and accountability in how monitoring is carried out. It also provides guidance on a range of subjects including data protection impact assessments, the security and retention of data, covert monitoring, biometric data and call monitoring.

See: ICO consultation on the draft employment practices: monitoring at work guidance and draft impact assessment.

Information about workers’ health

Draft guidance on information about workers’ health has been published alongside a blog and is open for consultation until 26 January 2023.

The draft guidance also covers a wide range of the issues that employers need to contend with when processing information about the health of their workers, including how health data can be processed lawfully, data minimisation, transparency and the rules on retention of data. It also provides guidance on data protection impact assessments, data sharing, automated decision-making, sickness, injury and absence records, occupational health schemes, medical examinations, genetic testing, and health monitoring.

As the blog notes, the ICO recognises that it needs to change its approach to guidance. As well as consulting throughout the process of developing its new employment guidance, it is planning to create a guidance hub for both employers and workers.

See: ICO consultation on draft employment practices guidance – information about workers’ health

Employers who wish to comment on these important issues, need to take note of these deadlines and prepare responses ahead of January 2023. If you need any guidance or have any questions on the issues raised, please do reach out to a member of our team who would be happy to help.

This document (and any information accessed through links in this document) is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Professional legal advice should be obtained before taking or refraining from any action as a result of the contents of this document.


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