SOAS University of London

Job Applicant Privacy Notice

1. Who we are and how to get in touch

2. What is this document and why should you read it

3. SOAS' data protection responsibilities

4. What personal data do we process, and where do we get it from?

5. What is Special Category Data, and why do we process it?

6. How do we process your personal data, and why?

7. How do we make decisions about recruitment?

7. Who do we share your data with?

8. International transfers of personal data

9. How long do we keep your data?

10. What are your rights?

11. Who regulates data protection in the UK?

12. Updates to this notice

Who we are and how to get in touch


We have appointed a Data Protection Officer whose role is to inform and advise us about, and to ensure that we remain compliant with, data protection legislation. The Data Protection Officer should be your first point of contact if you have any queries or concerns about your personal data. Our current Data Protection Officer is David Ogden who can be contacted at dataprotection@soas.ac.uk or 0207 898 4817.

If the Data Protection Officer is unavailable, you can contact the Records Manager by email at dataprotection@soas.ac.uk, or by post at the address below:

Information Compliance Office, SOAS University of London, 10 Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square, London, WC1A 0XG.

What is this document, and why should you read it?


This notice explains how and why SOAS processes personal data about its job applicants You should read this notice, so that you know what we are doing with your personal data.

SOAS’s data protection responsibilities


SOAS is a Data Controller in respect of your personal data. We have responsibilities to process your data lawfully, to tell you about how we are processing your data, and to safeguard your data.

What types of personal data do we collect, and why do we need it?


Information provided by you - externally advertised vacancies


As a job applicant, we collect personal data directly from you when you make an application for a vacancy through our online job application systems. We use iGrasp for fixed term and permanent positions advertised on our website, and VT2000 for fractional teaching positions. There are various stages to our application process, and different information may be collected at each stage. Please see below for a summary of the stages in our application process, and the data we ask you to provide:

Application stage

When you use our online application systems to apply for a vacancy, your data will be collected by third-party processors on our behalf. For further details of who we share your data with, please see ‘Who do we share your data with?’ below.

We will collect your name, address and contact details. We will also ask you for information about your previous work experience and your education, and your current or most recent employer. We will also ask you questions related to the role for which you are applying. This information is available to the recruitment team and the selection panel.

You will also be asked to provide equal opportunities monitoring information. You do not have to provide this information, and if you don’t it will not affect the way we treat your application. The equal opportunities information we collect at this stage will be used to produce statistical reports in accordance with our duty under the Equality Act 2010. Only the recruitment team will have access to this information.

At this stage we will also ask you to confirm whether you have a disability to enable us to make any reasonable access adjustments at the interview stage. This information will not be disclosed to the panel unless you have been shortlisted for an interview.

Shortlisting stage

Some roles that SOAS advertise will need to fit the requirements of the Resident Labour Market Test (RLMT) to enable the School to demonstrate that it has met the legislative requirement to sponsor a successful migrant applicant. If a migrant applicant is successful, to meet the requirements of the RLMT process, we will be required to retain all shortlisted candidate application forms/CV’ for a period of 12 months. After this point, SOAS will redact any personal details from any of the forms held. These records need to be retained for 7 years under Immigration Rules, and will be shared with third parties. Please see ‘Who do we share your data with?’ below.

Some academic recruitment campaigns require the application, CV and publication lists of the applicants to be circulated within the wider team the post is being recruited to. If this applies, then candidates will be informed through a disclaimer on the advert. Candidates will be informed that if they do not consent to the sharing of their application, they should notify the recruitment team.

Assessment stage

If you are shortlisted for a role, you will be invited for an interview. Some roles may also involve an assessment such as giving a presentation, sitting a test, or another form of assessment deemed suitable to the advertised role and this will be retained with your other recruitment records.

Presentations for certain roles may require you to present to a wider group outside of the selection panel.

For some roles we will need to request references prior to the interview. If this is the case, we will ask you to provide your referee details so that they can be contacted. Otherwise we will only ask for the referee details if you are made a conditional offer of employment.

Summaries of your interview and assessment (if relevant) will be passed to the recruitment team. Conditional offers of employment

If we make a conditional offer of employment to you, then we will need to collect further information from you such as:

  • Proof of right to work in the UK (passport or appropriate VISA)
  • Proof of education and/or qualifications (relevant certificates or transcripts)
  • References for your current and previous employer (which will ask for details of any sickness absence)
  • Declaration of unspent criminal convictions

If a migrant applicant who requires sponsorship is successful for a role, we will ask you to confirm your personal details from your application form to allow us to apply for your Certificate of

Sponsorship in line with Immigration Rules, and this will be shared with third parties. Please see ‘Who do we share your data with?’ below.

If you are being recruited for a Student Ambassador role outside of the Human Resources recruitment process, we will use your details to run a DBS (Disclosure Barring Service) check if the role requires it (e.g. if you are working with children on Widening Participation activity).

Final offer of employment

Once a final offer has been made, we will ask you to complete a Personal Information & Starter Declaration Form, in which you will need to provide:

  • Your bank details so that we can pay your salary
  • Contact details of third parties who we may contact in the event of an emergency

We ask new fractional teachers who have been offered work to complete an online VT Candidate (VTC) form to supply essential information used to create employment records. The VTC data includes:

  • Your bank details so that we can pay your salary
  • Contact details of third parties who we may contact in the event of an emergency
  • Equal opportunities monitoring information. You do not have to provide this information, and if you don’t it will not affect the way we treat your application. The equal opportunities information we collect at this stage will be used to produce statistical reports in accordance with our duty under the Equality Act 2010.
  • New starter declaration information to enable deductions for tax purposes
  • Student loans information so we know whether to deduct student loan repayments from your salary
  • Higher Education Statistics information used for the Staff Higher Education Statistics Return (further information is available at: https://www.hesa.ac.uk/about/regulation/data- protection/guidance)
     

Candidate details are transient in VT and are only available while the employee is completing an employment application form. When the application is completed, the information is automatically fed through to ResourceLink, the HR-Payroll System, to create a record of the applicant. The information is then deleted from VT. Staff in the HR Directorate have access to VTC data, unlike staff in fractional employing departments.

Information received from other sources - recruitment through agencies

SOAS uses recruitment agencies from time to time to fill vacancies, particularly where the post advertised is short-term (5 months or less) and/or requires specialist knowledge or skills.

SOAS will receive your personal information such as name and contact details, as well as education background and work experience, usually in the form of a curriculum vitae.

When recruitment information is received from an agency, the information will only be available to the recruitment team and the selection panel. The selection panel will shortlist candidates and hold interviews. Your information will be processed in accordance with the shortlisting and interview stages described above.

What is Special Category Data, and why do we process it?

Where you decide to provide us with it, we will also process ‘Special Category Data’, which in this notice we call “Sensitive Information” such as religion, race and ethnic origin, and sexual orientation for equal opportunities monitoring purposes. Our lawful basis for processing this type of data is Article 9(2)(g) of the GDPR and Schedule 1 Part 1 section 8 of the Data Protection Act (2018), where the processing is necessary for reasons of substantial public interest, relating to equality of opportunity and treatment.

We will process your health data, including any declared disabilities, under Article 9(2)(h) of the GDPR and Schedule 1 Part 1 section 2 of the DPA (2018) where it is necessary for the purposes of preventive or occupational medicine.

We will process data you provide about unspent criminal convictions under Article 10 of the GDPR. The applicable UK law we rely on is the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions) Order 1975 (as amended in 2013).

How do we process your personal data, and why?

We process your personal data during the recruitment process to enable us to make informed, impartial decisions about your suitability for the job for which you have applied, and to make sure the recruitment process is fair and we meet our responsibilities under other relevant legislation, such as the Equality Act 2010, and employment law.

The lawful bases, or justifications, that we rely on to process your personal data for recruitment purposes are:

Article 6(1)(a) of the GDPR, where the individual gives us their consent. We rely on this justification to process your data up to the shortlisting stage;

Article 6(1)(b) of the GDPR, where it is necessary to enter into a contract or to take steps, at your request, to enter into a contract. We rely on this justification to process your data once you have accepted an interview or conditional offer of employment.

and Article 6(1)(c), where processing is necessary to fulfil a legal obligation.

If we need to process your personal data because we have a legal obligation to do so, or because it is necessary for entering into a contract with you, please be aware that if you refuse to provide us with the information we need we will not be able to enter into a contractual relationship with you.

How do we make decisions about recruitment?


Decisions about recruitment are made by the recruiting manager and selection panel. When we make a decision about whether to hire a candidate we will use the information gathered during the application process. Final offers of employment will be based on further information provided by you and others (e.g. referees) at the conditional offer stage. Please click the link for details of SOAS’s Recruitment Policy.

Who do we share your data with?

We will share your information with our data processors to administer recruitment activity, and with third parties when we are legally obliged to respond to a request for your information. Where we use data processors we will make sure that they have appropriate security standards in place to make sure your personal data is protected and we will enter into a written contract imposing appropriate security standards on them.
 
The third parties who we share your information with are:

Business partners:

Saba – SOAS uses the iGrasp recruitment system to administer all vacancies published on the School’s website. We have a contract with the provider which sets out our respective responsibilities in relation to your information.

General Technology – SOAS uses the VTC and VT2000 system to administer the appointment and employment processes for new and existing fractional teachers. We have a contract with General Technology, the VT supplier, which sets out our respective responsibilities in relation to your information.

Zellis – SOAS uses ResourceLink to manage staff employment data and payroll. Fractional candidates who apply through the VTC web application system will have their personal information automatically ingested into ResourceLink, and the data is then deleted from VTC and held in accordance with our retention policy for job applicants. We have a contract with the provider of ResourceLink which sets out our respective responsibilities in relation to your information.

Sharing under legal/regulatory obligation:

The Home Office – SOAS shares information with United Kingdom Visas and Immigration for the purposes of checking and auditing our compliance with applicable Immigration Rules when sponsoring migrant workers.

ICO – SOAS shares information with the Information Commissioner’s Office if a Freedom of Information request or Subject Access Request is passed to the Regulator for review

Police/law enforcement authorities – SOAS shares information with the police and other bodies with law enforcement powers under the DPA (2018) Schedule 2 Part 1 section 2, where it is necessary for the prevention or detection of crime, apprehension or prosecution of offenders, or assessment or collection of tax or duty.

Professional partners:

Legal Advisors – SOAS shares information with our legal advisors to ensure that our recruitment of successful candidates follows Immigration Rules.

International transfers of personal data

When personal data is shared outside of the European Economic Area, it is known as a 'restricted transfer' of personal data. This means that the transfer can only take place if appropriate safeguards are met, such as:

  • The receiving country has been awarded an adequacy ruling by the European Commission, on the basis that their data protection law provides individuals with acceptable legal rights and judicial remedies
  • The transfer is subject to the provisions of the European Commission's Standard Contractual Clauses

Or one-off transfers could take place under one of the exceptions in Article 49 of the GDPR:

  • With the explicit consent of the individual
  • Where it is necessary to fulfil a contractual arrangement with an individual at their request, or where it is necessary to fulfil a contractual arrangement with a third party which benefits an individual
  • Where it is in the substantial public interest
  • To establish, exercise or defend legal claims
  • To protect an individual's vital interests

How long do we keep your data?

We will keep the information provided in the recruitment process in accordance with our retention schedule

SOAS is required by the Home office to retain recruitment documentation for a period of one year for all posts which require us to sponsor the successful applicant. This is in line with the requirements of the Resident Labour Market Test set out by the UK Visa’s and Immigration (UKVI). As a Tier 2 (General) visa can be extended up to a total of six years, these documents may need to be retained for up to seven years in total and shared with legal advisers and the Home Office as part of the immigration process for recruiting a successful candidate.

What are your rights?

You have certain rights to make requests about the personal data we collect and use during the recruitment process.

You have different rights depending on our lawful basis for processing your personal data. They are set out in the table below:

Lawful basis Individual's rights
Access Correction Restriction Erasure Data Portability Objection
Consent Y Y Y Y (withdraw consent) Y Y (withdraw consent)
Contract Y Y Y Y Y N
Legal obligation Y Y N N N N

Right of Access: You have the right to access a copy of your personal data. For guidance on how to exercise this right, read our webpage Requesting Access to Personal Data.

Right to Correction: You have the right to have your personal data corrected if it is inaccurate or incomplete as to matters of fact.

Right to Restriction: If you have challenged our processing or feel that we have inaccurate data which could affect your rights, you can ask us to restrict processing (we will hold it to enable us to flag the data as restricted, but will not use it) while we resolve the issue.

Right to Erasure: If you withdraw your consent and want us to forget you, or we have finished processing your data under contract or for our operational needs and no longer need it any more, you can ask us to erase it.

Right to Data Portability: If you have supplied us with automated data by consent or under contract, you can request a copy of the data in an open-source machine readable format which would allow it to be transferred directly into another IT environment, or you can ask us to transfer it directly.

Right to Object: You can object to our processing of your personal data for any reason relating to your situation.

If you wish to exercise any of these rights, please contact our Data Protection Officer (contact details at the start of this notice) in the first instance.

Who regulates data protection in the UK?

If you think SOAS is processing your data unlawfully, or you also have the right to lodge a complaint with the Information Commissioner’s Office, which is the UK data protection regulator. More information can be found on the Information Commissioner’s Office website at https://ico.org.uk/

Updates to this notice

We may update this notice as necessary to reflect changes to the type of personal data that we process and/or the way in which it is processed. We will take necessary steps to bring this information to your attention which are in proportion with our means and current systems.