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Basic principles for employee privacy

Carline WiumOnce the Protection of Personal Information Bill has been passed, employee privacy will be protected by certain rules. Businesses are therefore encouraged to start incorporating the following five basic principles for employee privacy and confidentiality into their codes of conduct.

  • No one should hold on to personal information about an employee that’s not necessary for the operation of the business.
  • Only members of staff who, in their course of work, need access to employees’ personal data should be authorised to have such access.
  • No personal data of employees should be given to anyone in the business without authorisation.
  • No personal data of employees should be given to outsiders without authorisation from the employee unless the employer is required by law to provide the information.
  • The business does not concern itself with its employees’ activities after hours and outside of work unless these activities affect the reputation of the business or the employees’ ability to do their jobs properly, e.g. should an employee in a financial management position be convicted of fraud or another offence involving dishonesty.

[*Article by Susan Stelzner, Editor-in-Chief of the Labour Law for Managers]

For further information please contact Carline Wium of Exceed Human Resource Consultants on tel. 021 882 8140 or e-mail carline@exceed.co.za, or visit www.exceedhr.co.za.

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