Data protection in the employment relationship

In the context of employment relationships, every employer is obliged to comply with data protection regulations. Employee data protection already begins with the initiation of the employment relationship in the application process and must be complied with during the duration and after termination of an employment relationship. Both the requirements of the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the national regulations of the German Federal Data Protection Act must be complied with.

Employers must inform their employees about the scope of the data collected and must always limit the collection and storage of personal data to that data which is absolutely necessary for the administration of the employment relationship. If employers wish to collect and process additional data from the employee, they must obtain specific written consent from the employee to do so.

This applies, for example, to the production and publication of a picture of the employee on the company website or in an advertising brochure of the company. The employee’s special consent is also required if the employee’s personal data is passed on to other affiliated companies within a group or group of companies. In addition, the employee must be informed whether and to what extent he or she is authorized to use the company e-mail account and the Internet and how the employer monitors such use. Data protection regulations must also be complied with in the case of video surveillance of company premises and workplaces.

On the other hand, employees must be obligated to comply with data protection regulations in the course of their work. This includes, in particular, the obligation to maintain the confidentiality of customer data and other important information that may not be disclosed to third parties in the interest of the company or a customer.

It is important for companies to always comply with all relevant data protection regulations, as the supervisory authorities can impose high fines in the event of violations.

We advise employers on all questions of data protection in the employment relationship and create legally secure templates for necessary agreements with employees.

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