Every seasoned business owner knows that sensitive information should be treated with the utmost care – in whatever form it takes. The way you handle sensitive information in your business doesn’t just affect your employees, but it also affects the legality of your operation. Whatever you do, you must comply with data protection law, employee confidentiality and effective storage of sensitive documents. In this article you will find advice on how to handle sensitive information in the proper way as a business owner.
Employee confidentiality is one of the most crucial aspects of hiring and retaining talented staff. As the boss, your job is not only to keep their personal information safe, but also to practice professionalism when it comes to sensitive personal information that comes to your attention. This could include:
- Mental health. It is becoming increasingly important to take the mental health of employees seriously in the workplace. As the boss, you are not required to know any personal details about your employees’ mental health, but if they inform you of mental illness, it should be taken as seriously and as discreetly as any physical illness information you know about them.
- Employee relationships. Employee relationships are bound to happen at some point, but the way you deal with them is crucial. Firstly, under many contracts employees are required to disclose if they are in a serious relationship in order for this not to interfere with their working relationship. This could mean they are required to sign a form through HR if they are in a relationship.
Next comes data protection. Data protection law is constantly reinventing itself as technology becomes more and more advanced by the minute. When it comes to adhering to data protection law as a company, you should consult a legal professional. This should include drawing up employee and client contracts; signing up with cloud computing or other server providers; and the use of company social media, the website and other online publications. A legal professional can ensure your records are up to date and in compliance with all areas of data protection law.
All companies hold some sensitive documents; these could be employee records, medical information or financial statements. These documents are vitally important; the essentiality of their safety and confidentiality cannot be overstated. When storing sensitive documents online, confirm with your legal representatives that this is done in the proper manner. Access to these documents should be strictly prohibited and given only to certified personnel who are legally contracted to do so.
In addition, sensitive documents should be destroyed when they are no longer required to be held by the company; for example, if an employee leaves the company, their records and personal information should be destroyed. For this, you could use document shredding services that are licensed to destroy any and all sensitive documents to legal standards.
In conclusion, handling sensitive information in the proper manner is essential to both the legality and the discretion of your business.