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Information and public services for the Island of Jersey

L'înformâtion et les sèrvices publyis pouor I'Île dé Jèrri

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Social Security’s privacy policy

Social Security sits within Customer and Local Services,. Social Security is registered with the Office of the Information Commission as a Controller.

Customer and Local Services is registered with the Office of the Information Commissioner as a Processor.

The Data Protection Law requires us to have a privacy policy which tells you how and why we process your information. This privacy policy only relates to personal data controlled by the Minister for Social Security.

Personal information is anything that can identify you as an individual, either on its own or by reference to other information. 

We are serious about looking after your personal information and protecting your privacy because we want you to have trust and confidence in us and the work we do.

We’d like to explain how we look after your personal information and protect your privacy.

There are rules about what personal information we process. When we say “Process” we mean how we collect, record, hold, use, share and ultimately dispose of your information.

You have rights relating to your personal information. Your rights here in Jersey are explained in the Data Protection (Jersey) Law 2018. They are also described below.

All data processing we undertake is carried out under the requirements of the Data Protection (Jersey) Law 2018.

Why we process your personal information

We process your information so that we can:

  • collect any Social Security contributions
  • assess and award benefits
  • support you in the workplace
  • make decisions which affect you
  • respond effectively to your enquiries
  • update you with new or changed services
  • secure services on your behalf at your request such as training
  • investigate complaints
  • investigate possible fraudulent activity. This may include the comparison of 2 or more sets of data to spot inconsistencies leading to further investigation
  • contact you regarding your claims or contributions or with related information you may find interesting or useful
  • manage safeguarding and public protection concerns
  • investigate breaches of the Health and Safety Law (Health and Safety Executive)
  • update other Government departments and organisations we work with, with relevant information about you. We will only share data if we have a legal basis to do so, or failing that we will seek your consent

Housing Control and Business Licensing work closely with us. They have their own privacy notices and use your information to:

  • confirm your residential and employment status
  • award and enforce appropriate business licenses and staffing permissions

It is important that you let us know of any changes in your circumstances, even if you think we may already know. This will allow us to make sure your record is up to date and  provide you with the right advice and service.

Most of our data processing happens within Government buildings but sometimes staff are required to work from off -site locations including their homes. In these settings, data security continues to be given the utmost priority.

Housing Control privacy policy

Business Licensing privacy policy

Automated decision making

We build business rules into our computer systems, based on our laws. These help us process your information more efficiently.

Automated decision making is when a decision is made about you using a wholly automated process. We may use the information you provide to us and existing information we hold about you to make these automatic decisions.

Automated decision making may occur in decisions related to your eligibility for the following contributory benefits:

  • Long Term Incapacity Allowance (LTIA)
  • Short Term Incapacity Allowance (STIA)
  • Maternity allowance and grant (including maternity STIA)
  • Old Age Pension (all variations)
  • Survivor's allowance
  • Incapacity pension
  • Death grant

It may also occur in the protection of your contribution record, such as with:

  • Student Credits
  • Home Responsibility Protection

Other examples of automated decision making are:

  • in annual uprates, for example Income Support, rent subsidies, Long Term Care benefit
  • when we pay your GP for your GP visit
  • when we identify customers eligible for the winter fuel allowance
  • when we inform the Health and Safety Executive of work related incidents
  • when we use computer reports to identify eligibility for other benefits such as the Jersey Premium, Cold Weather bonus and the Christmas bonus

The Data Protection Law allows you the right to insist that a decision made about you by wholly automated means is reviewed by a person. For more information, please contact us.

How we use information 

Sometimes we may use your personal information to:

  • develop policies and services (any reports or findings coming out of this kind of work will never contain information which can identify you personally)
  • improve the efficiency of our services
  • review and plan for benefits and services
  • help with audit and accounting
  • develop learning and training
  • improve communication and help prevent fraud and error
  • provide statistical information which will help with our forward planning. This may have come from a survey we have sent you after you have accessed one of our services
  • respond to Freedom of Information Requests but you will not be identified
  • protect the public
  • enable the maintenance and upgrade of our computer systems by external suppliers. When this occurs we make every effort to protect your information and where possible ensure that the data does not directly identify you

Types of personal information we process

Information about you that we may process incudes:

  • personal details such as your name, address, date of birth and family members, place of birth, gender, nationality
  • information about your life events, for example when you got married
  • your contact details; telephone, address or email
  • records of visits or contacts you’ve had with us 
  • records of all Social Security contributions paid by you or by an employer on your behalf, along with details of your wages
  • details of any claims and benefits including medical certificates, Income Support, Long Term Care and pension claims
  • information from your employer, doctor (GP), carer or anyone else that helps us support you. This may include medical information
  • your employment history, including dates and name of employer, if a permanent contract or not, and your contracted hours (full-time, part-time, zero hours
  • any training or support you’ve received in finding work
  • other special category (sensitive data)

If you have visited us in any of our buildings and locations it is possible that you have been recorded on our CCTV. These recordings are kept for 28 days before being deleted. They can only be accessed only by authorised personnel. The Law allows us to use CCTV for the prevention and detection of crime. 

If you have spoken to us on the phone then you may have been routed to the relevant advisor via a voice recognition system. This system uses cloud technology to operate and whilst the system does not require you to provide personal information there are still safeguards in place to ensure your spoken information is kept secure.

When you speak to one of our advisors it is possible that the call will be recorded. These recordings are used for training and quality purposes and are kept for a short time before being deleted.

If you leave a message on our voicemail systems, your message will be kept until we are able to return your call or make a note of your message.

File notes of when and why you called may be taken for record keeping purposes. We will not pass on the content of your telephone calls, unless is it necessary for us to do so; either to fulfil your request for a service, to comply with a legal obligation, or where permitted under other legislation. 

Where we get your personal information from 

We get your personal information from:

  • you or your family when you complete our forms, speak to us on the phone, face to face or communicate with us by email
  • information you provide to us by using our website
  • surveys you have completed for us where you have provided personal information
  • your employer
  • other parts of the Government of Jersey, for example the Taxes office which sits within Revenue Jersey or organisations with whom we have data sharing agreements
  • people or organisations who you have given consent to share information with us
  • people or organisations where the Law allows them to share information about you with us

If you don’t tell us something we need to know, your personal records may not be accurate and this could affect your contributions or benefits and services provided.

Emails

We may use email to communicate with you in relation to the services we provide. For security reasons we will keep any personal information to a minimum in any email we send to you.

If you email us we may keep a copy of your email address and the email as part of your record.
We suggest that you keep the amount of confidential information you send to us via email to a minimum. We advise you use our secure online services where possible.

We will not share your email address, or your email contents unless it is:

  • to provide a service to you
  • comply with a legal obligation
  • permitted under other legislation
  • permitted because you have given your consent

How your information is protected

Protecting your privacy and looking after your personal information is important to us. We work hard to make sure that we have the right policies, training and processes in place to protect our manual and electronic information systems from loss, corruption or misuse. Where necessary we use encryption, particularly if we are transferring information out of the department. Encryption means the information is made unreadable until it reaches its destination. 

We take every reasonable step to make sure that we keep your personal information safe in line with best practice, the Data Protection Law and any other relevant Laws.

Our staff:

  • have a legal duty to keep your information confidential
  • receive annual training in the Data Protection Law

Our buildings are secure and we use CCTV in some areas for the prevention and detection of crime and to help us with customer queue management.

We only hold your information for as long as it is needed. The time periods we keep your information for are listed in our retention schedules. For more information email Customer and Local Services.

Sharing your information 

We sometimes need to share some of your information with other teams within the Government of Jersey or with external agencies.

For example, if you are an Income Support claimant and have a child, we will share your name address, Social Security number and that of your child with Children Young People, Education and Skills (CYPES) to help them administer the Jersey Premium scheme. If CYPES cannot locate your child on a Jersey school register, they will inform us so that we can make enquiries and update your claim if necessary.

If you are in receipt of Income Support or Pension Plus we share limited information with GPs via the Health and Community Service system to allow you to benefit from the reduced consultation charges under the Health Access Scheme. When your GP charges you for your GP visit, the reduced charge will be made automatically, the GP has no access to your Social Security or benefits record. You can opt out of this benefit by calling Customer and Local Services and your data will not be shared.

If you become employed by the Government of Jersey, The People Hub who are part of Customer and Local Services will access the Social Security system to obtain your Social Security number, eligibility for work status and contributions liability. This data is transferred to the Government’s PeopleLink System (Controlled by the Chief Minister) and subsequently accessed by payroll staff to ensure you are paid appropriately.

If you are a current employee of the Government of Jersey and you inform the employer of changes to your contribution liability, then this data is also processed to allow transfer to the PeopleLink system and accessed by payroll staff to ensure you are paid appropriately.

We will only share data if the law allows us to, or failing that we will seek your consent. We will only share the information that is relevant at the time and not your whole record.

We won’t pass on your details to any marketing companies.

Covid-19

If you are permitted or essentially employed and claiming a Covid-19 benefit due to not working, then we may check your claim information with your employer, for example if  you claim you cannot do your work from home or you are self-isolating.

In order to help Islanders during the Covid-19 period, limited personal information has been shared with the Parishes to assist them in targeting various support services to their parishioners.

Transferring your information to other countries

When we need to transfer your information outside of Jersey, for example if you live abroad and are in receipt of a pension, we will only do so if the law allows us to, or failing that we will seek your consent. We will seek assurance that your information is secure when transferred.

Transferring information to countries within the European Economic Area (EEA) is seen as relatively safe because these countries have strong Data Potection Laws in place. There is a list of countries outside of the EEA who are also deemed safe.

If we need to transfer your information outside of the EEA or to a country which is not on the list of safe countries, we will take extra steps to secure your information.

Your rights regarding the personal information we hold about you

Under the Data Protection (Jersey) Law 2018 you have certain rights relating to the information we process about you. These rights are to:

  • be told and understand what your information is being used for
  • access your record and receive it in an easy to use format
  • ask us to make amendments to information we hold about you which is incorrect. We may ask you to provide evidence of information that needs to be changed
  • withdraw any consent you may have previously given us
  • object to us processing your information. If you do object then we can only stop processing your information if the Law allows us to

If you want to find out more about your rights, or make a complaint about how your information is being handled, contact the Government of Jersey Data Protection Officer using the contact information below.

If you are not satisfied with our response you can, contact the Office of the Jersey Information Commissioner.

Access to your record

Your Social Security record can be accessed by:

  • you
  • staff carrying out their duties
  • other people (third parties) who have a legal right such as auditors, Tribunals or Courts

Your personal details will only be given to a third party with your consent, or when the law requires it. 

On rare occasions there may be legal restrictions which mean staff may not be able to share some information with you. 

You can ask us for a copy of the information we hold about you

You are legally entitled to request a list of, or a copy of any information that we hold about you. You can submit a subject access request (SAR) using our online form

However where our records are not held in a way that easily identifies you, for example a land registry, we may not be able to provide you with a copy of your information, although we will do everything we can to comply with your request.

If you need to know something simple from your record, such as a key date or when your next benefit payment is due, call Customer and Local Services on +44 (0)1534 444444. 

Complaints

If you have an enquiry or concern regarding the Government of Jersey processing your personal data you can:

You can also complain to the Information Commissioner about the way your information is being used by:

  • email the Information Commissioner
  • calling +44 (0) 1534 716530
  • writing to Office of the Information Commissioner, Second floor, 5 Castle Street, St Helier, Jersey, JE2 3BT
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