Law guide: Employment

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Data protection

Data protection

Contents

Introduction

The employer is responsible for taking appropriate measures to ensure the protection of data used and processed by the teleworker. It is important that the employer informs the teleworker of all company rules concerning data protection. It is then the teleworker's responsibility to comply with these rules.

General advice

Employers and teleworkers should be careful to ensure that the other household members should not have access to personal data as defined by the data protection legislation. A lockable cupboard into which all equipment can be stored at the end of the working day is a usual feature of most companies' home teleworking programmes.

Data security

Remote working is likely to raise issues of data security. The most important safeguard for employers is to make teleworkers aware of the risks, supported by simple and explicit policies including regular data backup procedures, automatic downloading and installation of security patches to all teleworker's computers, the use and maintenance of professionally supported anti-virus software (again with automatic downloading and installation of updates) and the use of email communications for and on behalf of the employer by the teleworker.

Other information

Reference should also be made to the Information Commission's Employment Practices Data Protection Code of Practice. Detailed materials, including the Code of Practice and up-to-date summaries can be obtained directly from the Information Commission's website or the Scottish Information Commissioner's website.