Wednesday, April 17, 2024
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ICO reassures employers they can share staff data in a mental health emergency

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has published new guidance to give employers more certainty about sharing their workers’ personal details in a mental health emergency.

The guidance provides advice on when and how it is appropriate to share workers’ information when the employer believes that someone is at risk of causing serious harm to themselves, or others, because of their mental health.

Chris Hogan, ICO Head of Regulatory Strategy, said:

“We want to reassure employers that during a mental health emergency they should share necessary and proportionate information without delay with relevant and appropriate emergency services or health professionals.

“It is a good idea to plan ahead, as this will help you to make well informed decisions if you need to. Our guidance will help you do that and includes useful case studies to illustrate how the law can work in practice.”

The new guidance is part of a range of guidance produced by the ICO to help employers look after personal information in line with data protection law. The ICO also has a data sharing hub with useful guides on when and how to share personal information.


Notes to editors

  1. The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) is the UK’s independent regulator for data protection and information rights law, upholding information rights in the public interest, promoting openness by public bodies and data privacy for individuals.
  2. The ICO has specific responsibilities set out in the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA2018), the United Kingdom General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR), the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA), Environmental Information Regulations 2004 (EIR), Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations 2003 (PECR) and a further five acts and regulations.
  3. The ICO can take action to address and change the behaviour of organisations and individuals that collect, use and keep personal information. This includes criminal prosecution, non-criminal enforcement and audit.
  4. To report a concern to the ICO telephone our helpline 0303 123 1113 or go to ico.org.uk/concerns.


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