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Privacy notice for applicants and employees

Privacy notice for job applicants

St Helens Borough Council is committed to collecting and processing your personal information in accordance with fair and transparent information practices and in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation (2016/679 EU) and the Data Protection Act 2018.

This notice explains how St Helens Borough Council handles the personal information of job applicants as part of the recruitment and selection of staff.

St Helens Borough Council is the data controller for the information you provide during the process unless otherwise stated. If you have any queries about the process or how we handle your information please contact us at or Human Resources, Corporate Services Department, Town Hall, Corporation Street, St Helens, WA10 1HP.

What personal information is being processed?

We collect a range of information about you. This includes:

  • Your name, address and contact details, including email address and telephone number;
  • Your National Insurance Number;
  • Your Date of Birth and age;
  • Details of your qualifications, skills, experience and employment history, including start and end dates with previous employers;
  • Information about your current level of remuneration, including benefit entitlements;
  • Any information that you provide us during an interview, including interview notes and the records of any tests or assessments;
  • Information about your entitlement to work in the UK.

The council may also collect, store and use the following 'special categories' of more sensitive personal information:

  • Equal opportunities monitoring information about your ethnic origin, sexual orientation, health, religion or belief, marital status, gender reassignment and age. (you are not required to provide this information for your application to be progressed);
  • Information about your health, including any medical condition, health and sickness records;
  • Whether or not you have a disability for which the council needs to make reasonable adjustments during the recruitment process;
  • Information about criminal convictions and offences.

We collect this information in a variety of ways. For example, data might be contained in application forms, CVs or resumes, obtained from your passport or other identity documents, or collected through interviews or other forms of assessment; including online tests.

We will also collect personal data about you from third parties, such as references supplied by former employers, information from employment background check providers and information from criminal records checks (for applicable roles). We will seek information from third parties only once a job offer to you has been made and will inform you that we are doing so.

Why we process your personal data

St Helens Borough Council needs to process your data in order to:

  • take steps at your request prior to entering into a contract with you as part of the recruitment and selection process. For example, the Council needs decide whether you meet the minimum requirements to be shortlisted for a role and whether your application meets the requirements to invite you to an interview. If we decide to call you for an interview, we will use the information you provide us at the interview to decide whether to offer you the role. If we decide to offer you the role, we will then take up references and carry out appropriate checks.
  • enter into a contract with you where your application is successful and you meet all pre-employment checks.
  • ensure that we are complying with our legal obligations. For example, we are required to check a successful applicant's eligibility to work in the UK before employment starts.
  • manage the recruitment process, assess and confirm a candidate's suitability for employment and decide to whom to offer a job.
  • consider if we need to make reasonable adjustments to the recruitment process for candidates who have a disability.
  • comply with obligations with regard to equal opportunities monitoring (where you have provided this data).
  • to seek information about criminal convictions and offences where that is necessary for the role.

We will not use your data for any purpose other than the recruitment exercise for which you have applied.

Lawful basis for processing

We need to collect and use your personal information for a number of purposes, as described above, in relation to the recruitment and selection process.

Depending on the processing activity, we rely on the following lawful basis for processing your personal data under the GDPR:

  • Article 6(1)(a) where you have given your consent for the processing of your data for a specific purpose, namely the recruitment process. You have the right to withdraw your consent for processing for that purpose at any time;
  • Article 6(1)(b) which relates to processing necessary in order to take steps at your request prior to entering into a contract;
  • Article 6(1)(c) so we can comply with our legal obligations such as ensuring your right to work within the UK and making reasonable adjustments in our recruitment process.

Where the information we process is special category data, for example your health data or equal opportunities data, the additional bases for processing that we rely on are:

  • Article 9(2)(a) where you have given your explicit consent for us to process this data;
  • Article 9(2)(b) which relates to carrying out our obligations in respect of employment;
  • Article 9(2)(h) for the purposes of preventative or occupational medicine and assessing your working capacity.

Who we share your information with

Your information will be shared for the purposes of the recruitment exercise. This includes members of the HR and recruitment team, those participating in the recruitment process, managers in the business area with a vacancy and IT staff if access to the data is necessary for the performance of their roles.

If your application for employment is successful and we make you an offer of employment we may then need to share your data with third parties such as:

  • Former employers to obtain references for you;
  • Disclosure and Barring Service where criminal records checks are required in respect of the role offered;
  • Occupational Health to obtain a pre-employment medical health check;
  • Home Office where the right to work in the UK;
  • If requested, we are required to share your information to prevent or detect crime, to protect public funds, or in other ways as permitted by law;

In these circumstances the data will be subject to confidentiality arrangements.

How long we keep your personal information

If your application for employment is unsuccessful, St Helens Borough Council will hold your data on file for no more than 12 months after the end of the relevant recruitment process.

If your application for employment is successful, personal data gathered during the recruitment process will be transferred to your personnel file and retained for the duration of your employment and following termination in accordance with our Employee Privacy Notice.

Your data rights

Under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and The Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA) you have a number of rights with regard to your personal data.

Full details of your data rights can be found at

If you believe that the organisation has not complied with your data protection rights, you should discuss the issue with your supervisor or another supervisor or manager and contact the Human Resources department.

If you would like to exercise any of these rights, please contact St Helens Borough Council's Data Protection Officer at

You have the right to lodge a complaint to the Information Commissioner's Office if you believe that St Helens Borough Council has not complied with the requirements of the GDPR or DPA 2018.