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Cambridge City Council

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Applicant privacy notice

This information reflects the requirements of the General Data Protection Regulation (2016/679 EU) (GDPR), which came into effect in the UK on 25 May 2018.

  • Data controller: Cambridge City Council, PO Box 700, Cambridge CB1 0JH
  • Data protection officer: Jo Brooks, Information Governance Manager & Data Protection Officer
  • Email:

As part of any recruitment process, Cambridge City Council collects and processes personal data relating to job applicants. We are committed to being transparent about how we collect and use that data, and in meeting our data protection obligations.

What information does Cambridge City Council collect?

We collect a range of information about you. This includes:

  • Your name, address and contact details, including email address and telephone number;
  • Your National Insurance Number
  • Your Date of Birth and age
  • Details of your qualifications, skills, experience and employment history, including start and end dates with previous employers (and with Cambridge City Council) and continuous service dates;
  • Information about your current level of remuneration, including benefit entitlements;
  • Declarations of criminal convictions and concerns, allegations or investigations relating to the safeguarding or children or adults at risk.
  • Whether or not you have a disability for which we need to make reasonable adjustments during the recruitment process;
  • Information about your entitlement to work in the UK; and
  • Equal opportunities monitoring information, including information about your ethnic origin, nationality, gender, sexual orientation, health and religion or belief.

We collect this information in a variety of ways. For example, data might be contained in application forms, CVs or resumes, obtained from your passport or other identity documents, or collected through interviews or other forms of assessment; including online tests.

We will also collect personal data about you from third parties, such as references supplied by former employers, information from employment background check providers and information from criminal records checks (for applicable roles). We will seek information from third parties only once a job offer to you has been made and will inform you that we are doing so.

Data will be stored in a range of different places, including on your application record, in HR management systems and on other IT systems (including email).

Why does Cambridge City Council process personal data?

We need to process data to take steps at your request prior to entering into a contract with you. We also need to process your data to enter into a contract with you.

In some cases, the we need to process data to ensure that we are complying with our legal obligations. For example, we are required to check a successful applicant's eligibility to work in the UK before employment starts.

We have a legitimate interest in processing personal data and for keeping records of the process. Processing data from job applicants allows us to manage the recruitment process, assess and confirm a candidate's suitability for employment and decide to whom to offer a job. We may also need to process data from job applicants to respond to and defend against legal claims.

Where we rely on legitimate interests as a reason for processing data, it has considered whether or not those interests are overridden by the rights and freedoms of employees or workers and has concluded that they are not.

We process health information if we need to make reasonable adjustments to the recruitment process for candidates who have a disability. This is to carry out our obligations and exercise specific rights in relation to employment.

Where we process other special categories of data, such as information about ethnic origin, sexual orientation, health or religion or belief, this is for equal opportunities monitoring purposes.

For some roles, we are obliged to seek information about criminal convictions and offences. Where we seek this information, we do so because it is necessary for us to carry out our obligations and exercise specific rights in relation to employment.

We will not use your data for any purpose other than the recruitment exercise for which you have applied.

Who has access to data?

Your information will be shared for the purposes of the recruitment exercise. This includes members of the HR and recruitment team, those participating in the recruitment process (some of whom may be external to the Council), managers in the business area with a vacancy and IT staff if access to the data is necessary for the performance of their roles.

Your information is also accessible to the recruitment system provider, who will only access your data if it is necessary for the performance of their roles to enable the effective operation of the recruitment system.

We will share your data with third parties if your application for employment is successful and it makes you an offer of employment. We will then:

  • Share your data with former employers to obtain references for you.
  • Obtain criminal records checks from the Disclosure and Barring Service or Disclosure Scotland (only for posts that require these checks).
  • Obtain a pre-employment medical health check through the current occupational health provider
  • If requested, we are required to share your information to prevent or detect crime, to protect public funds, or in other ways as permitted by law.

In these circumstances the data will be subject to confidentiality arrangements.

We will not transfer your data to countries outside the European Economic Area, however, your data may be transferred to countries outside the European Economic Area (EEA) for pre-employment checks where this is relevant in processing an application or offer of employment.

How does Cambridge City Council protect data?

We take the security of your data seriously. We have internal policies and controls in place to ensure that your data is not lost, accidentally destroyed, misused or disclosed, and is not accessed except by our employees in the proper performance of their duties.

Where we engage third parties to process personal data on our behalf, they do so on the basis of written instructions, are under a duty of confidentiality, and are obliged to implement appropriate technical and organisational measures to ensure the security of data.

How long does Cambridge City Council keep the data?

If your application for employment is unsuccessful, we will hold hard copies of your data on file for 12 months after the end of the relevant recruitment process. At the end of that period, your data is deleted or destroyed.

The recruitment system also holds a copy of your application. If you have not submitted applications, been invited to interview or appointed during the last 12 months, your personal data will be scrambled and put out of use on the system. However, if you log into your account, or have an active ‘jobs by email’ or saved jobs account during the 12 month period, your information will not be scrambled (as per the Data Archiving rules of People Solutions).

If your application for employment is successful, personal data gathered during the recruitment process will be transferred to your personnel file and retained during your employment. The periods for which your data will be held will be provided to you in a new privacy notice.

The periods of retention of data are set out in the Corporate Policy – Record Retention and Management which can be requested from the Data Protection Officer.

Your rights

As a data subject, you have a number of rights. You can:

  • Access and obtain a copy of your data on request;
  • Require the Council to change incorrect or incomplete data;
  • Require the Council to delete or stop processing your data, for example where the data is no longer necessary for the purposes of processing;
  • Object to the processing of your data where the Council is relying on its legitimate interests as the legal ground for processing; and
  • Ask the Council to stop processing data for a period if data is inaccurate or there is a dispute about whether or not your interests override the Council’s legitimate grounds for processing data.

If you would like to exercise any of these rights, please contact the recruitment team at or by calling 01223 458198.

Information Governance Manager & Data Protection Officer

You can make a subject access request by completing Cambridge City Council’s form for making a subject access request.

If you believe that Cambridge City Council has not complied with your data protection rights, you can complain to the Information Commissioner.

What if you do not provide personal data?

You are under no statutory or contractual obligation to provide data to Cambridge City Council during the recruitment process. However, if you do not provide the information, we may not be able to process your application properly or at all.

Automated decision-making

Recruitment processes are not based solely on automated decision-making.

Further Information

For further information about this privacy notice please contact Deborah Simpson, Head of Human Resources on 01223 458101 or by email to