Where employers reach a decision to dismiss an employee, they will need to consider how they handle the information generated by the procedures followed both prior to and following that decision being taken. Employers should also take care regarding the way in which any such dismissal is presented to staff and to third parties.

The reason or justification for retaining staff personal data following termination of their employment usually differs from those for storing and processing such data during their employment. In most cases, it is harder to justify retaining all personal data relating to an ex-staff member following termination. Employers should undertake regular reviews of the information they have to ensure they are not retaining data where they cannot justify doing so.

Given the increased risks in relation to data protection in the employment sphere, employers should consider data protection claims carefully when assessing the risks in relation to the departure of a staff member. Equally, if an employer is considering a mutual separation or settlement agreement it will need to consider how to document those risks and protect its business. Where an individual has or may raise data protection related claims or exercise their individual rights, employers will need to consider whether to ask the employee to waive these claims or rights and whether any such waiver would be enforceable.

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