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Remote Hearings Data Protection Statement

WRC Remote Hearings – Important Changes

Your privacy is important to us and we are committed to keeping your personal information safe. This data protection statement is intended to provide you with information about the personal information we collect about you and how that information is used and shared. It also sets out your privacy rights. Please take a moment to familiarise yourself with our privacy practices so that you are fully aware of how and why we are using your personal data.

1. Data Controller

The Workplace Relations Commission (the “WRC”) is the Data Controller for all WRC Hearings. This means that we have certain responsibilities when we process or “use” your Personal Data. Part of these responsibilities include that we provide you with information about your personal data.  This information is set out in this Data Protection Statement.   

2. Our Data Protection Officer

We have appointed a Data Protection Officer, Ms. Celyna Coughlan for you to contact if you have any questions regarding this data protection statement, our privacy practices or if you wish to exercise your data rights.  Our Data Protection Officer can be reached by e-mail at: dataprotection@enterprise.gov.ie. We value your opinions. Should you have any questions or comments related to this data protection statement, please contact us at: dataprotection@enterprise.gov.ie.

3. What are the new changes to our virtual hearings in the WRC?

Following delivery of the judgment of the Supreme Court in Zalewski v Adjudication Officer and WRC, Ireland and the Attorney General IESC [2021] IESC 24 on 6 April 2021 and the consequential orders made on 15 April 2021, a number of changes are now required as a result of this judgement to the procedures at the WRC.

Important data protection changes as a result of this Ruling are set out below:

  • Adjudication cases will now be held in public (i.e. can be attended by members of the public and members of the media).
  • Cases will be published in a non-anonymised format (i.e. providing full names and other details of all parties including workplace, pay and other information pertinent to the complaint) on the WRC website.
4. Information we will collect in relation to our Virtual Hearings  

We will collect personal data provided by you when you complete your Complaint Form. This personal data will include information such as your name, signature, address, eircode, contact details (e-mail address and phone number).We will also collect other information provided by you in support of your complaint including in certain cases, your employment history, financial information such as your salary details and other information relating to your case that you have provided by way of enclosures to your complaint form and submitted to us. Please be aware that some of the personal data you have submitted may also be sensitive personal data (e.g. medical data, data relating to a minor (a child) or other data provided by you in support of a sexual harassment or bullying complaint).  

We may also collect your personal data in relation to objections to remote hearings.

We would remind parties not to submit any data which is not strictly necessary to support your case and to be mindful of your own GDPR obligations.

5. Why we are using your personal data?

The primary purpose for which we use your personal data is in relation to the processing of your complaint by way of scheduling an Adjudication Hearing where your case will be heard by an Adjudication Officer and brought to a resolution.    

6. What is our legal basis for using your personal data?

We are required by data protection law to indicate to you the legal basis which relates to our use of your personal data.  These are (as relevant):

  • Article 6(1)(e) GDPR - processing is necessary for the performance of a task carried out in the public interest or in the exercise in official authority vested in the Controller (in this case the Controller is the Workplace Relations Commission (the “WRC”); and
  • Article 6(1)(c) GDPR - processing is necessary for compliance with legal obligations to which the Controller (i.e. the Workplace Relations Commission; the “WRC”) is subject.
  • Section 31(1)(d) Civil Law and Criminal Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2020 – The WRC is a designated body with power to conduct remote hearings.
7. Who has access to the data?

Staff in the WRC with responsibility for the scheduling of Hearings, including our administrative staff who are involved in making the necessary arrangements to set up Virtual Hearings and provide support services to the Adjudication Officers who oversee the cases. As a result of the judgment of the Supreme Court in Zalewski v Adjudication Officer and WRC, Ireland and the Attorney General IESC [2021] IESC 24 on 6 April 2021 and the consequential orders made on 15 April 2021 (see Paragraph 3 above), once new legislation is in place our administrative staff may also process your personal data when Hearing Schedules are published on our website and Adjudication Decisions are published by us including the names of the parties involved. Please note that your name will be published on the WRC website as part of these processes.   

8. Data storage and retention

We will not retain or use your personal information for any longer than is necessary.

Your personal data will only be retained for as long as required for the processing of your Adjudication Complaint and to be retained until seven years have elapsed since the file was closed in order to comply with legal and regulatory requirements. 

9. International transfers

We do not transfer your personal data outside the European Economic Area (EEA).

10. Your data rights

You have certain rights under data-protection law in relation to how we use your personal information. You have the right, free of charge, to: 

  • Request a copy of the personal information we hold about you. You can do this by completing a Subject Access Request (SAR) form. A copy of the form is available here.
  • Rectify any inaccurate personal information we hold about you. If your personal data is incomplete, you have the right to have data completed, including by means of providing supplementary information.
  • Restrict processing of your personal information in certain limited circumstances (e.g. if you have contested the accuracy of your personal data, for a period enabling us to verify accuracy).
  • Not be subject to a decision which is based solely on automated processing where that decision produces a legal effect on you or otherwise significantly affects you. We do not make automated decisions of this nature.

We may take measures to verify your identity. We will do this by reference to copies of acceptable identification documentation supplied by you.

11. Making a complaint

In the first instance, we would ask you to contact us directly if you have concerns about how we process your personal data. You can do this by e-mailing us at: personaldatarequest@workplacerelations.ie.

You can also Make a complaint with the Data Protection Commission (DPC) if you have concerns about how we process your personal data.

12. Changes to this data protection statement

We may update this data protection statement from time to time. If we make changes, we will notify you prior to the changes taking effect by posting a statement on our website.

13 May 2021