Data protection has an impact on handling recruitment, employee record-keeping, and many other HR activities. Employers must understand their data protection responsibilities and liabilities. It's important to keep up-to-date with data protection developments.

This factsheet outlines data protection legislation in the UK and proposed changes to that legislation. These laws affect how organisations gather, store and use data and individual rights over access to information. The factsheet offers guidance on following good data protection practices at work and includes a practical action plan for organisations.

This factsheet was last updated by Lisa Ayling and Rachel Suff.

Lisa Ayling: solicitor and employment law specialist

Lisa is a lawyer with many years’ experience of contentious and nonā€contentious employment law. As well as writing and editing employment law content for the CIPD, Lisa lectures extensively on employment law, including years as a senior lecturer and leader of the employment team at BPP University and on the LLM programme at Kingston University. 

Rachel Suff: Senior Employee Relations Adviser, CIPD

Rachel informs CIPD policy thinking on health and wellbeing as well as employment relations. She has over 25 years’ experience in the employment and HR arena.

Related content

Employment law
Data protection, surveillance and privacy at work: UK employment law

Explore our collection of resources surrounding the legal issues relating to data protection, surveillance and privacy in the workplace

For Members
Guides
People manager guide: Managing data protection requirements

This guide provides managers with an overview and principles to apply when handling GDPR and data protection requirements to ensure they play their part in complying with regulations governing its safe handling.

Factsheets
Retention of HR records

Introduces the legal issues in the UK around effective retention and organisation of HR records

Topics
Data Protection and GDPR resources

Learn more about data protection and GDPR to ensure your organisation is compliant.

Explore our other factsheets

Factsheets
People analytics

Understand what people analytics is, different types of HR data, and the importance of people analytics strategy and process

Factsheets
Reward: an introduction

Introduces the basics of reward, which includes pay and benefits, and outlines the UK legal position

Factsheets
Pay structures and pay progression

Outlines the purpose of pay structures and progression, including the common ways of structuring pay and determining, reviewing and controlling pay progression

Factsheets
Workforce reporting

Learn about defining, measuring and reporting human capital, and how HR can use human capital information to drive performance

Factsheets