Data protection definition

What does Data protection mean?

In an employment context, this refers to the obligation on an employer to protect the data of its employees and ensure that it complies with the law on how it uses the employees' data.

An employer is required to comply with the Data Protection Act 1988 (and numerous subsequent regulations and codes of practice) which sets out rules on how employee personal data is processed and handled. The Act sets out a number of key principles as well as a requirement to inform employees of how the data is to be processed and handled and to obtain their consent to such a process.


The principles for the processing and storage of personal information as set out under the data protection legislation.
The holding and processing of computerised and manually stored data held for the purposes of pension administration requires registration by the processor. Trustees cannot rely on the registration of the principal employer and must effect their own registration. In addition, trustees must ensure that any third parties to which data is passed have adequate processing and security systems in place. There are special rules requiring extra safeguards for the handling of sensitive personal data such as health records.

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Data protection is referenced 1 in Halsbury's Laws of England

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