Privacy notice - HR and recruitment

How will we use your information?

As an employer, Southampton City Council has to hold and process information about you for normal employment purposes. The information we hold and process will be used for the following activities:

Recruitment process

When you apply for a job with us (whether you already work for us or not), you will be asked to provide personal information to support your application and to enable us to determine your eligibility and suitability for the post you have applied for. This may include personal information such as your current and past employment details, educational qualifications, membership of professional bodies, continuous professional development and referee contacts.

If you are successful in your application and offered employment then the personal information provided to us during the recruitment process will be used for the performance of the employment contract and will form part of your HR record that will be stored securely and access will be strictly limited.

If you are unsuccessful in your application then your details will be stored securely for a period of nine months should the Council need to review the recruitment process, provide constructive feedback to individual applicants upon request or to defend any potential legal claim that might arise. The record will be destroyed at the nine month period (unless there is a legitimate need to keep it for a longer period for one of the above reasons).

Pre-employment checks

Prior to starting work with us it will be necessary for us to undertake pre-employment checks which will include verifying references, carrying out right to work, criminal record checks and professional registration checks (where relevant).

The above information (other than DBS) will be stored in your HR record. With regard to DBS Checks, criminal record certificates are issued directly to the applicant. We will request that you show the appointing manager your certificate and will record the Disclosure Number, issue date and risk assessment (in cases of a positive disclosure) and will retain this in your HR record. We abide by the DBS Code of Practice and do not photocopy or retain full DBS Disclosure Certificates.

You will also be asked to complete a medical questionnaire to determine that you are medically fit to undertake the role and establish whether any adjustments to the role will be needed. The Council use an external occupational health service provider, Medigold Health, and your medical questionnaire will go directly to them to process and hold the information in your medical record. This cannot be accessed by the Council and the information provided will only be shared with your line manager with your consent. For further information on how Medigold use your information and your rights, please refer to the Medigold Health website.

Pay/Pensions and contractual benefits

We use your bank details and national insurance number so that we can make salary payments, pension deductions, tax and national insurance contributions and administer your pension. For further information on how we use your information and your rights, please contact Pay –

Workforce and diversity information

As part of the recruitment process and also on some other occasions during your employment it will be necessary to process information about you for employment reasons. It will be helpful for us to obtain personal information relating to your gender, racial/ethnic origin, religious beliefs, sexual orientation, marital status and whether or not you have a disability. During the recruitment process, the information you provide will be separated from your application prior to short-listing. Any diversity information requested is anonymised and used in order that the Equal Opportunities Policy can be monitored effectively.

Your information may also be used from time to time as part of workforce data to enable the development of a comprehensive picture of the workforce and how it is deployed.

We will always obtain your explicit consent to these activities (unless this is not required by law or the information is needed to protect your health in emergency). Where it is not a legal requirement, you have the right to give consent and withdraw your consent at any time.

Who has access to your personal information?

Access to your personal information is strictly limited and should only be accessed by those with a legitimate need in their job role.

Your line manager may hold local records on performance and notes of one to one meetings. He/she will be able to access information the Council hold about you on HR systems which includes general job related information, emergency contact numbers, current pay and absence history.

HR and Finance professionals will also have access to information about you in order to provide specialist support to management and calculate pay and contractual entitlements.

We will only share your personal information with third parties in line with this document and our legal obligations. We will ensure that the third party we are sharing it with has appropriate technical and organisational processes in place to keep your personal information secure and that they only use it in accordance with our instructions.

How long do we need to keep your personal data?

We will only hold your personal data for as long as there is a business need or a legal obligation. Your HR personal file will be kept securely for a period of seven years after you have left the Council’s employment. This is in case there is a retrospective legal claim made against the Council.

Keeping your personal information accurate and up-to-date

It is important that the information we hold on you is accurate and up-to-date. We therefore need you to inform us of any change that is needed to your personal information. For existing staff this would be by completing the relevant forms held on HR Stuff on the staff intranet.

If you are not employed by the Council or cannot access HR Stuff then this must be by contacting HR Pay on 023 8091 7770 (option 5) or emailing