Candidate privacy notice

What is the purpose of this document?

Field Seymour Parkes LLP (“FSP”) is committed to protecting the privacy and security of your personal information.

This privacy notice explains how we obtain and manage your data in relation to any application you make to us for work, whether as partner, employee, worker or consultant. It provides you with certain information that must be provided under the General Data Protection Regulation. (Candidates for work experience placements or open days should refer to our Work Experience Privacy Notice.)

FSP is a “data controller”. This means that we are responsible for deciding how we hold and use personal information about you.

Data protection principles

We will comply with data protection law and principles, which means that your data will be:

  1. Used lawfully, fairly and in a transparent way.
  2. Collected only for valid purposes that we have clearly explained to you and not used in any way that is incompatible with those purposes.
  3. Relevant to the purposes we have told you about and limited only to those purposes.
  4. Accurate and kept up to date.
  5. Kept only as long as necessary for the purposes we have told you about.
  6. Kept securely.

The kind of information we hold about you

The information we will hold about you will depend on the role for which you have applied and the stage you reach within the application process.

At the early stages of any application, most of the information will be provided by you or someone on your behalf with your knowledge, such as a recruitment agent. That information will usually include:

  • Your identification and contact details (which may include age, gender and nationality);
  • Information about your education, qualifications, professional memberships, employment history, skills and experience;
  • Information relating to any tests or skills assessments you undertake as part of the recruitment process;
  • Any personal information you (or someone on your behalf) provide to us during the course of your application, including details about your career aspirations, personal circumstances and interests.

Information in the public domain may also be obtained, such as public records relating to professional memberships/admission, information on LinkedIn or other social media sites and information on your current employer’s website.

You may also be asked to volunteer information to assist our diversity monitoring age, race or ethnicity, religious beliefs, sexual orientation and political opinions. Such information is kept securely away from your application data and is not used in order to make any decisions about your suitability for the role. More information is provided on the forms we use for monitoring.

At a later stage in your application (usually after you have accepted an offer with us) we may also collect, store and use information about your:

  • professional conduct and standing, credit status (such as identity checks, bankruptcy/court orders etc.); legal/ employment restrictions on your ability to perform the role;
  • unspent criminal convictions and offences;
  • health and ability to perform the role in question;
  • employment / academic records as part of our referencing process, usually covering the previous five years.
  • information to establish you as an employee, such as bank details, national insurance number, emergency contacts and other details required to process your pay and benefits and protect you as an employee.

Any information we require at this later stage of your application will be explained fully to you at the time. No third parties are contacted for any information not in the public domain without you being advised in advance.

The recruitment process and type of information we obtain depends on the role in question. If you have any questions about which checks would apply to your application please ask for further information.

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.
  • Communicate with you about the recruitment process.
  • Keep records related to our hiring processes.
  • Comply with legal or regulatory requirements.
  • Carry out background and reference checks.

It is in our legitimate interests to process information about you to decide whether to appoint you to the role for which you have applied as it would be beneficial to our business to appoint the most appropriate candidate to that vacancy and we need to process your personal information to decide whether to enter into a contract with you. The processing is also necessary to comply with our legal obligations and exercise our rights under employment law.

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 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.

Special Categories of data (sensitive personal information)

As your application progresses we may obtain sensitive personal information about you known as ‘special categories’ of data.

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 an interview. Following acceptance of an offer, we may also obtain and use your health information to take appropriate care of your health and safety and ensure you are fit to take up the position and to make any reasonable adjustments required to accommodate to a disability.
  • 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.
  • We may use information about your nationality in connection with checks to ensure your right to work in the United Kingdom.

Criminal record checks

As a law firm it is essential that we can trust our staff to act with the highest levels of honesty and integrity.

For senior appointments and other roles involving access to client money, market sensitive client or firm information, or otherwise requiring a high degree of trust and integrity, we may need to obtain a basic disclosure criminal record check to identify any unspent convictions or cautions.

We have a legitimate interest in obtaining such information, due to a need to protect our reputation, to maintain the confidence of the public in the reliability of our staff and due to the high degree of trust required in sector.  In any event, we will always notify you of our requirement, explain why it is relevant to your role and seek your consent.

The existence of a criminal record will not automatically result in the withdrawal of an offer. The circumstances and implications of any convictions/cautions will be considered before any decision is made.

Information relating to criminal convictions will be only be disclosed within the HR team and to relevant partners or team leaders to confirm your suitability for employment.  Any such records shall be destroyed in accordance with our data retention policy.

Automated decision-making

You will not be subject to decisions that will have a significant impact on you based solely on automated decision-making.

Data sharing

Why might you share my personal information with third parties?

We will only share your data with third parties for the purposes of progressing your application, confirming your suitability for employment following a job offer and preparing for the commencement of your engagement with us. The third parties may include your recruitment agent or any vacancy advertising platform through which you apply to us, our recruitment system providers and any party necessary for pre-employment screening, as set out above.

All our third-party service providers are required to take appropriate security measures to protect your personal information in line with our policies. We do not allow our third-party service providers to use your personal data for their own purposes. We only permit them to process your personal data for specified purposes and in accordance with our instructions.

Data security

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. Access to your personal information is limited to those partners, employees, agents, consultants 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.

Data retention

How long will you use my information for?

If your application is unsuccessful, we will retain your personal information for a period of 6 months after we have communicated the outcome (in the case of an application for a specific position) and from the date of receipt of application (in the case of any speculative application).

We retain your personal information for that period:

  • To monitor recruitment activity and help us take management decisions to improve our processes;
  • For reference should you apply for a similar role within that period, to help us assess your suitability;
  • In case you reapply through a different recruitment agent and there is a dispute about introduction fees;
  • To enable us to defend any claim (such as a discrimination claim) made in relation to your application.

If your application results in an appointment with us we will retain information relating to your application within your HR records and in accordance with our Employee Privacy Notice.

After these periods, and subject to our email retention policy, we will securely destroy your personal information in accordance with our data retention policy.

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.

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 Rashmi Mohan, Compliance Manager, in writing.

Data protection officer

We have appointed Rashmi Mohan to oversee compliance with this privacy notice. If you have any questions about this privacy notice or how we handle your personal information, please contact Rashmi. 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.

If you have any questions about this privacy notice, please contact Rashmi Mohan, Compliance Manager, 0118 951 6209, [email protected]

Issue date:  January 2024