GDPR: Model maternity, paternity, adoption and parental leave documents now compliant

Our model maternity, paternity, adoption and parental leave policies and documents have been updated to comply with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which is in force from 25 May 2018.

What other model documents have been updated for the GDPR?

We have previously revised our model documents in these areas:

Look out in the coming weeks for more updates to our model policies and documents to make them GDPR-compliant.

The introduction of the GDPR means that employers should review their documentation to ensure that: data protection and privacy considerations are embedded; only the minimum amount of personal data is collected and processed for a specific purpose; there is a legal basis for processing personal data; and individuals whose personal data is being processed are provided with privacy notices.

Employers will be gathering large amounts of personal data when managing maternity leave, paternity leave, adoption leave, shared parental leave and ordinary parental leave.

While employers will be processing this personal data to comply with their legal obligations, they should embed the GDPR principles in their family-friendly policies and procedures. One way for employers to do this is to add a reminder to their policies on maternity leave, paternity leave, adoption leave, shared parental leave and ordinary parental leave of the safeguards that are place when personal data is processed under these procedures.

It is also a good idea to explain early in the process (for example in the first form that the employee completes to apply for the leave) how personal data will be treated and to refer to an employee privacy notice for more details.

Employers should be particularly careful as to how they process information gathered when managing maternity leave and pay. By its very nature, this information will often constitute "health data", which falls within the special categories of personal data under the GDPR. For example, the fact that an employee is pregnant and her expected week of childbirth (EWC) relate to health.

We have therefore updated the following model documents on family-friendly rights to take account of the GDPR:

Pregnancy and maternity leave and pay

Paternity leave and pay

Adoption leave and pay

Shared parental leave and pay

Ordinary parental leave