POPI and the Employment Life Cycle
1. Engagement (advertising, recruitment and selection)
Examples of PI in the Engagement Process
Curriculum vitae; identity document; educational qualifications and transcripts; interview forms; psychrometric test results; email addresses; cell phone number; criminal and background checks.
Notes for the engagement process
The personal information (PI) of applicants’ must be obtained directly from them, unless derived from a public platform.
Where an employer makes use of a recruitment agency, the applicant must consent to his/her PI being obtained from the recruitment agency.
The PI of unsuccessful applicant(s) must be destroyed once a decision has been taken not to employ the applicant(s).
2. Employee onboarding, induction & Training
Examples of PI in the Onboarding process
Contract of employment; residential address; next of kin contact details; medical aid details; biometrics; email address; cell phone number; bank account details; payslips; and SARS tax records.
Notes for the onboarding process
- The nature of the information required pertaining to a next of kin constitutes PI in terms of POPI, as it is information related to an identifiable, living, natural person.
- Accordingly, an employer must (i) notify the next of kin that their PI is being processed and (ii) only process PI pertaining to a next of kin with their consent.
- The onus of proof rests with the employer to prove that consent was received from a next of kin.
3. Day to day employee management and engagement with unions
Examples of PI in day to day management
Screening records in the context of COVID-19; Employee personnel file; disciplinary records; leave applications; Doctors notes; Drug & Alcohol test results; performance reviews and the processing of information related to Trade Union membership.
Notes for day to day management
Recommended action to be taken by employers:
- Ongoing analysis of PI to verify the quality, accuracy and completeness of the PI;
- Conduct risk assessments to determine loopholes in the protection of PI;
- Revise HR policies and contractual arrangements; and
- Revise and update contractual arrangements.
4. Termanation of Employment
Examples of PI the Termination process
The following should be retained on termination for the applicable periods as per legislation: Contract of employment (3 years); Arbitration Awards (3 years); SARS employee records (5 years); OHSA Incident records (3 years); Employee disciplinary records (indefinite)
Notes for termination of employment
- Save for the information that must be retained in terms of applicable legislation, an employer must dispose of information where an employment relationship is terminated.
- PI retained for further processing in terms of section 15(e) of POPI must be processed solely for that purpose and should not be published in an identifiable form.