The Safety of Private Data Act, which got here into impact on 1 July 2021, is prone to influence job interviews any longer in South Africa, says André de Villiers, an legal professional at Scheepers & Aucamp and member of HR Economics.
The Act and the way it will affect the questions that will probably be requested will primarily be depending on two key components, he mentioned:
- Are interviews seen because the processing of private data of potential staff or ‘knowledge topics’ because the Act refers to it?
- Is the information collected from potential job seekers deserving of safety when it comes to the Act?
“The second query is probably the simpler one to reply. The Act’s goal is certainly to guard private data, and contemplating that questions and solutions sometimes exchanged in interview processes are undoubtedly private data – similar to race, intercourse, views, gender, and training – the interviewee is unquestionably deserving of the safety afforded by the Act,” mentioned de Villiers.
The reply to the primary query – whether or not interview processes will be seen because the processing of private data – will be discovered within the definition of processing as acknowledged within the Act, which features a multitude of acts sometimes carried out in interviews similar to assortment, receipt, recording, storage, transmission, destroying of data, and so forth., he mentioned.
What this implies in apply
Broadly put, all state and personal our bodies, who interview staff, should adjust to the provisions of the POPI Act throughout interview proceedings, mentioned de Villiers.
“In apply, because of this the interviewer might want to acquire knowledgeable consent from the interviewee when accepting, accumulating, processing potential job seekers’ private data.
“The hurdle to leap over is the idea of knowledgeable consent. That signifies that our bodies should declare how they’re to course of the private data obtained, and procure consent to course of it (in these phrases) and no different.”
Human assets specialists, recruiters and public- and personal our bodies – and any social gathering who may very well be seen to intervene with the safety of Private Data – now have a heavy burden on their shoulders throughout an interview or job placement proceedings and will get sued if discovered non-compliant, face the hefty fines from the regulator itself, and even imprisonment, de Villiers mentioned.
By way of part 10 of the Act, employers are urged to acquire solely strictly related data. They’ll, always, stay accountable to the job seeker to clarify what they’ve completed with the information.
“Information on race, for instance, can solely be processed if important to establish somebody or when it’s strictly related.”
“Usually, knowledge collected ought to always be purpose-specific. It’s advisable that entry to data of interview proceedings must be severely restricted solely to the important workers on completion of the interview proceedings and be retained solely for functions of employment fairness audits by the Division of Labour.
“So no extra CVs mendacity round within the workplace or on a database, for an unforeseeable interval, for everybody to see,” he mentioned.
Within the consent type that interviewees signal, it is going to be prudent to tell them of this obligation to retain data, mentioned de Villiers. He mentioned that the interviewer must acquire consent earlier than the knowledge is processed by (or shared with) any additional individual.
“All function gamers ought to guarantee integrity, confidentiality and well-positioned organisational measures to be in place, particularly if the knowledge is to journey throughout borders.
“Facets on which interviewers ought to tread fastidiously with regards to the job seeker embrace points on non secular and philosophical beliefs, race, ethnic origin, commerce union membership, political persuasion, well being or sexual orientation, legal behaviour, biometric data, and so forth.,” de Villiers mentioned.