What is the purpose of this document?
Howes Percival LLP (“the Firm” or “we”) is a "data controller". This means that we are responsible for deciding how we hold and use personal information about you. You are being sent a copy of this privacy notice because you are applying for work with us as a Trainee Solicitor. It makes you aware of how and why your personal data will be used (namely for the purposes of the recruitment exercise, and the offer of a Training Contract with the Firm), and how long it will usually be retained for. It provides you with certain information that must be provided under the General Data Protection Regulation ((EU) 2016/679) (GDPR).
Data protection principles
We will comply with data protection law and principles, which means that your data will be:
• Used lawfully, fairly and in a transparent way.
• Collected only for valid purposes that we have clearly explained to you and not used in any way that is incompatible with those purposes.
• Relevant to the purposes we have told you about and limited only to those purposes.
• Accurate and kept up to date.
• Kept only as long as necessary for the purposes we have told you about.
• Kept securely.
The kind of information we hold about you
Personal data, or personal information, means any information about an individual from which that person can be identified. It does not include data where the identity has been removed (anonymous data).
There are “special categories” of more sensitive personal data which require a higher level of protection.
In connection with your application for work with us, we will collect, store, and use the following categories of personal information about you:
• The information you have provided on our application form and any covering letter, including name, title, address, telephone number, personal email address, date of birth, gender, employment history, education, qualifications, relevant experience, relevant information relating to skills that we are assessing (such as teamwork, organisation etc..)
• Any information you provide to us during an interview or at the assessment centre and any notes taken by interviewers or assessors (including scores or opinions of suitability).
• Any information you provide to us or that we obtain in relation to the assessment process in the case of trainee solicitors, for example, legal/commercial test results, maths/numerical reasoning tests and presentations.
We may also collect, store and use the following "special categories" of more sensitive personal information:
• Information about your race or ethnicity, religious beliefs, sexual orientation and political opinions.
• Information about your health, including any medical condition, health and sickness records.
• Information about criminal convictions and offences.
How is your personal information collected?
We collect personal information about Trainee Solicitor candidates from the following sources:
• You, the candidate.
• We may collect additional information from third parties including former employers or your current University or school of law (information will only be collected from former employers/Universities in relation to reference checks and only after we have informed you that we will be taking up such references).
• In order to undertake a period of recognised training (the Training Contract) with the Firm, you must disclose to us and the Solicitors Regulation Authority (“SRA”) any issue which may cause you not to meet the outcomes of the SRA Suitability Test in accordance with The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) Training Regulations 2014 (Qualification and Provider Regulations). This will require us to seek information from you about any spent or unspent criminal convictions and other matters that may impact on your suitability (see below) and may require us to disclose personal information (including criminal offence and conviction data) to the SRA in accordance with our obligations as an authorised training provider either prior to offering or at the point of offering a Training Contract to you. This will apply whether you are to be offered a Training Contract to commence imminently or are given an offer of a Training Contract conditional on you completing to our satisfaction your Legal Practise Course.
• Your named referees, from whom we will ask to provide us with a reference about you. This may be from your current or former education providers or from former employers. This will generally include dates of employment, position held, reason for your employment ending (if it has), relevant experience and relevant performance assessment or if from an education provider to verify your performance during your degree or any Legal Practice Course (or equivalent) and to verify your suitability for a Training Contract with the Firm. Referees may also include other named persons who you have identified who know you and who may be asked to give references concerning your character and suitability for a Training Contract with the Firm.
How we will use information about you
We will use the personal information we collect about you to:
• Assess your skills, qualifications, and suitability for the role, including whether you will satisfy the SRA Suitability Test.
• Carry out background and reference checks, where applicable.
• Communicate with you about the recruitment process.
• Keep records related to our hiring processes.
• Comply with legal or regulatory requirements.
• Making a decision about your recruitment or appointment.
• Determining the terms on which you work for us
• Checking you are legally entitled to work in the UK.
• In dealing with funding arrangements for LPC and GDL and to obtain information on your performance in respect of such courses.
• If you are applying to work in our Northampton office or attend our Northampton office for interview, we have CCTV in operation in the Northampton office; we have one camera that covers the entrance to our car park, giving a view of the barrier arm, key pad and intercom, the other covers the front entrance to our building and an area of the car park which is part of our demise. The images from both cameras are only viewable from behind our reception desk.
It is in our legitimate interests to decide whether to appoint you to role since it would be beneficial to our business to appoint someone to that role.
We also need to process your personal information to decide whether to enter into a contract of employment or engagement with you.
We also need to process your personal information to comply with our legal obligations as a registered training provider and to comply with The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) Training Regulations 2014 (Qualification and Provider Regulations).
Having received your application form and any covering letter, we will then process that information to decide whether you meet the basic requirements to be shortlisted for the role. If you do, we will decide whether your application is strong enough to invite you for an interview. If we decide to call you for an interview, you may be required to undertake a numerical reasoning test, which is administered by our third party supplier, currently, WorkLife Associates Limited. We will use the information you provide to us at the interview and the results of the various assessments carried out prior to (in the case of the numerical reasoning test) or at the assessment centre, to decide whether to offer you the role. If we decide to offer you the role, we will then take up references in relation to you.
If we offer you the role this will be conditional on your being able to (and continuing to be able to) meet the outcomes of the SRA Suitability Test in accordance with The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) Training Regulations 2014 (Qualification and Provider Regulations). As a result, we will need to process any information relating to your suitability for the role which may cause you not to meet the outcomes of the SRA Suitability Test (see below).
If we are funding your LPC or GDL course, then we will need to process your data in order to put that into effect.
Your employment may (if you are likely to be required to undertake government contract work, which is likely) also be subject to your completion of a Baseline Personal Standard Security form, which contains a criminal conviction declaration form. It is currently a condition of our Government contracts that all new employees complete this form. If this changes we will let you know and if no longer necessary, will cease to carry out such checks. Further information on this and the other ways in which we process your data as an employee will be provided in the privacy notice that we issue to employees, workers and contractors if you are offered and accept a position with us.
If you fail to provide personal information
If you fail to provide information when requested, which is necessary for us to consider your application (such as evidence of qualifications or work history, or suitability in accordance with the SRA’s requirements), we will not be able to process your application successfully (for example, if we require a credit check or references for this role and you fail to provide us with relevant details, we will not be able to take your application further).
How we use particularly sensitive personal information
“Special categories” of particularly sensitive personal information require higher levels of protection. This information includes the following information: race or ethnic origin, political opinions, religious or philosophical beliefs, trade union membership, genetic/biometric data, health, sex life or sexual orientation.
We will use your particularly sensitive personal information in the following ways:
• We will use information about your disability status to consider whether we need to provide appropriate adjustments during the recruitment process, for example whether adjustments need to be made during the interview, or in relation to the assessment centre or any tests undertaken.
• We will use information about your race or national or ethnic origin, religious, or philosophical beliefs, or your sex life or sexual orientation, to ensure meaningful equal opportunity monitoring and reporting.
Information about criminal convictions
We envisage that we will process information about criminal convictions.
We will collect information about your criminal convictions history if you are applying for a position with us as a Trainee Solicitor. We are entitled to carry out a criminal records check in order to satisfy ourselves that there is nothing in your criminal convictions history which makes you unsuitable for the role and which means you may not meet the SRA Suitability Test.
We are legally required by the SRA to carry out criminal record checks for Trainee Solicitors or those individuals who are to be offered a Training Contract. The SRA Training Regulations 2014 (Qualification and Provider Regulations) provide, at Regulation 6: Character and suitability:
“6.1 You must disclose any issue to us which may cause you not to meet the outcomes of the SRA Suitability Test:
(a) before you commence any period of recognised training, or;
(b) if the issue occurs after commencement, during any period of recognised training.
As stated above, your employment may also be subject to your completion of a Baseline Personal Standard Security form, which contains a criminal conviction declaration form. This is currently a requirement for all of our government contract work, which you may be involved in during the course of any Training Contract.
You will not be subject to decisions that will have a significant impact on you based solely on automated decision-making, unless we have a lawful basis for doing so and we have notified you.
Why might you share my personal information with third parties?
We will only share your relevant personal information with the following third parties for the purposes of processing your application:
• Your recruitment consultant or the recruitment consultant/search consultant that we have appointed;
• The SRA to deal with any issues relating to the SRA Suitability Test;
• Those third parties who are contracted to carry out assessments at the assessment centre, including those that carry out the numerical tests on our behalf (currently, WorkLife Associates Limited;
• Any providers of the LPC or GDL or other relevant education provider;
• Your chosen referees;
• Any former employers named in your application.
All our third-party service providers are required to take appropriate security measures to protect your personal information in line with our policies and/or the GDPR. We do not allow our third-party service providers to use your personal data for any other purposes. We only permit them to process your personal data for specified purposes and in accordance with our instructions.
We have put in place appropriate security measures to prevent your personal information from being accidentally lost, used or accessed in an unauthorised way, altered or disclosed. In addition, we limit access to your personal information to those employees, agents, contractors and other third parties who have a business need-to-know. They will only process your personal information on our instructions and they are subject to a duty of confidentiality.
We have put in place procedures to deal with any suspected data security breach and will notify you and any applicable regulator of a suspected breach where we are legally required to do so.
How long will you use my information for?
If you are unsuccessful in your application for a Training Contract (then save as set out below), we will retain your personal information for a period of 6 months after we have communicated our decision.
We retain your personal information for that period so that we can show, in the event of a legal claim, that we have not discriminated against candidates on prohibited grounds and that we have conducted the recruitment exercise in a fair and transparent way. After this period, unless you ask us to hold your personal data for longer, we will securely destroy your personal information in accordance with our data protection policy and any policies on retention of personal information.
If we wish to retain your personal information on file, on the basis that a further opportunity may arise in future and we may wish to consider you for that, we will write to you separately, seeking your explicit consent to retain your personal information for a fixed period on that basis.
For successful candidates who accept the offer of a Training contract with us, we will retain the recruitment data (CV, application form, interview assessments/tests/notes etc) for the duration of your employment to the extent that it remains relevant to your employment (and possibly thereafter). Please see the privacy notice that we will issue to you as an employee for further information relating to this.
Rights of access, correction, erasure, and restriction
Your rights in connection with personal information
Under certain circumstances, by law you have the right to:
• Request access to your personal information (commonly known as a "data subject access request"). This enables you to receive a copy of the personal information we hold about you and to check that we are lawfully processing it.
• Request correction of the personal information that we hold about you. This enables you to have any incomplete or inaccurate information we hold about you corrected.
• Request erasure of your personal information. This enables you to ask us to delete or remove personal information where there is no good reason for us continuing to process it. You also have the right to ask us to delete or remove your personal information where you have exercised your right to object to processing (see below).
• Object to processing of your personal information where we are relying on a legitimate interest (or those of a third party) and there is something about your particular situation which makes you want to object to processing on this ground. You also have the right to object where we are processing your personal information for direct marketing purposes.
• Request the restriction of processing of your personal information. This enables you to ask us to suspend the processing of personal information about you, for example if you want us to establish its accuracy or the reason for processing it.
• Request the transfer of your personal information to another party.
If you want to review, verify, correct or request erasure of your personal information, object to the processing of your personal data, or request that we transfer a copy of your personal information to another party, please contact our HR Manager in writing.
Right to withdraw consent
In the limited circumstances where we have relied on your consent for the collection, processing and transfer of your personal information for a specific purpose (which will be rare), you have the right to withdraw your consent for processing for that purpose at any time. To withdraw your consent, please contact our HR Manager (Ann Chancellor). Once we have received notification that you have withdrawn your consent, we will no longer process your information, unless we have a legitimate basis for doing so in law.
Data protection officer
We have appointed a data protection officer (DPO) to oversee compliance with this privacy notice. Our Data Protection Officer is James Howarth, Partner. He can be contacted on 01908 872207 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have any questions about this privacy notice or how we handle your personal information, please contact the Data Protection Officer. You have the right to make a complaint at any time to the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO), the UK supervisory authority for data protection issues.
The Firm’s Data Protection Officer is responsible for this Notice which was adopted on 8 May 2018.
Version 1.0 May 2018