Your organisation or one that you are familiar with has a new HR director. They have requested that you review the organisations approach to collecting, storing and using HR data and produce a summary position statement on your findings. The HR director has asked you to cover the following.
• At least 2 reasons why the organisation needs to collect data
• At least 2 types of data that is collected within the organisation and how each supports HR practices
• A description of at least 2 methods of storing records and benefits of each
• A statement of at least 2 essentials items of Irish legislation relating to recording, storage and accessibility of HR data
Reasons for collecting data:
• To keep accurate records of contracts
• To meet legal requirements
• Sickness/ absence management
• Employees personal data
• Performance management/learning and development
Below are 2 key reasons for collecting data:
Sickness/absence – this is one of the main reasons to collect data and is always an ongoing issue in any organisation. This can have an effect on sales and staff morale. It can also incur and organisation extra costs if they pay for sick leave.
By law all organisations must keep track that certain legal requirements are being met for example the working time act 1998 and the minimum wage act 1998. Also they must keep track of all the taxes and national insurance details.
Types of data and how it supports HR practice
• Employees addresses and phone numbers as this helps HR contact the employees or send out important correspondence
• Details of any disciplinary action this makes sure all decisions are made fairly and all based on fact.
• Contracts this makes sure you have an accurate account of al rates of pay and hours to be worked.
All information kept by HR can also protect any organisation from any claims made against them.
Method and benefits of storing data:
• Paper files – one of the main benefits if storing data this way is that you won’t have any of the issues you can have with a computer for example a computer crashing or a virus.
• Electronically- this is one the most popular method of storing data and the main benefits of using this method is it is a lot easier to access and can be changed or updated at the click of a button.
Two essential items of legislation for collecting and storing data:
The data protection act 1998
The Data Protection Acts state that information about you must be accurate, must only be made available to those that should have it and must only be used for specified purposes. You have the right to access personal information relating to you and have any errors corrected or, in some cases, have the information erased. If your information is being held for the purposes of direct marketing, you can have your details removed. Data protection rights apply to information held on computer or in manual or paper files. The Data Protection Commissioner is appointed by the Government. The Commissioner is independent in the exercise of his/her functions. Individuals who feel their rights are being infringed can complain to the Commissioner, who has powers to enforce the provisions of the Act. If you suffer damage as a result of a breach of your data protection rights, you may sue for damages through the courts. The Commissioner also maintains a register, available for public inspection, giving general details about the data handling practices of many important data controllers, such as government departments and State-sector bodies, financial institutions, and any person or organisation who keeps sensitive types of personal data. An unfair way, you can ask them to change or remove these details. You can also ask them not to use your personal details for purposes other than their main purpose.
The freedom of information act 2014 states the following:
A legal right for each person to access information held by a body to which FOI legislation applies
A legal right for each person to have official information relating to himself/herself amended where it is incomplete, incorrect or misleading
A legal right to obtain reasons for decisions affecting himself/herself.