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 a vacation placement with us or otherwise undertaking work experience with us. It makes you aware of how and why your personal data will be used, namely for the purposes of the vacation placement/work experience, 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 a vacation placement/work experience with us, we will collect, store, and use the following categories of personal information about you:
• The information you have provided on your 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 any interview (if applicable).
During the course of your work placement/work experience with us, we will also process information regarding your use of our systems and email, work that you have undertaken for us, and assessments we may make regarding your abilities and performance (dependant on the type of work placement you are on).
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.
How is your personal information collected?
We collect personal information about work experience candidates from you. We may on occasion also collect it from your University or educational establishment or any referees or people who have requested that we provide you with a work placement/work experience.
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 a vacation placement and/or future opportunities within the Firm.
• Communicate with you about the vacation placement.
• Keep records related to our vacation placements.
• Comply with legal or regulatory requirements.
• Making a decision about future recruitment or appointment, particularly if you are also applying for a training contract.
• If you are applying for a vacation placement/work experience 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 ascertain your suitability for a vacation placement/work experience and to monitor your performance during it since we use our vacation placement scheme as a means of recruiting potential future trainee solicitors (and for other roles) into our business.
Having received your application form or CV and any covering letter, we will then process that information to decide whether you meet the basic requirements to be offered a vacation placement.
We may need to process your personal information to decide whether to offer you a training contract in the future, if you are also applying for a training contract and perform well on the vacation placement.
If we consider your performance on the vacation scheme and your application for a training contract is strong enough, we may 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 a training contract. If we decide to offer you the role, we will then take up references in relation to you.
If we offer you the role, then prior to commencing your period of recognised training with us, 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.
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), we will not be able to process your application successfully. For example, if we require references for this role and you fail to provide us with relevant details, we may 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 or during your work placement with us, for example whether adjustments need to be made during the interview, or in the case of trainee applications in relation to the assessment centre or any tests undertaken or whether you need any adjustments whilst undertaking a placement with us.
• We will use information about your race or national or ethnic origin, religious, philosophical or moral beliefs, or your sexual life or sexual orientation, to ensure meaningful equal opportunity monitoring and reporting.
Information about criminal convictions
For the purposes of your work placement/work experience, we do not envisage that we will require information relating to criminal offences and convictions.
However, should we offer you a training contract, 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 Training contract with us and your work placement is part of our assessment of you. In such circumstances, we will 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 or makes it unlikely that you will meet the SRA Suitability Test (see below).
We are legally required by the SRA to carry out criminal record checks for Trainee Solicitors and solicitors. 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.
You will not be subject to decisions that will have a significant impact on you based solely on automated decision-making.
Why might you share my personal information with third parties?
If as part of your application for a work experience/placement, you apply for a training contract, should we consider your application, we may share your relevant personal information with the following third parties for the purposes of processing such application:
• Your recruitment consultant (if you have used one for making your application);
• 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, partners 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. Details of these measures are summarised in our data protection policy
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. Details of our data breach policy, is set out in our data protection policy, which can be obtained from our HR Manager (Ann Chancellor).
How long will you use my information for?
If you are applying for a vacation placement and/or a training contract, if you are unsuccessful in your application, we will retain your personal information for a period of 6 months after we have communicated to you our decision to you.
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, we will securely destroy your personal information in accordance with applicable laws and regulations.
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 an offer of employment or engagement with us, we will retain the data for the duration of your employment to the extent that it remains relevant to your employment (and possibly thereafter). If you accept an offer of a Training Contract that is not due to start until you have completed your LPC or relevant qualification, then we will retain personal information regarding the application process and your placement with us until you commence work with us as a Trainee Solicitor and then this information will be kept on your employment file. Please see the privacy notice that we will issue to you as an employee for further information relating to this.
If we offer you a conditional Training Contract conditional on you meeting certain qualifications and/or remaining suitable so as to meet the SRA Suitability Test, and you do not manage to attain such qualifications or standards, such that the offer of a Training Contract is withdrawn, we will retain your application information and information relating to your work placement with us for a period of 6 months following the withdrawal of the offer of the Training Contract.
If you carry out a vacation placement but do not also apply for a training contract, we will retain your personal information for a period of 6 months following the end of the vacation placement scheme for that year.
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 DPO 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 DPO. 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