Privacy Notice for
Job Applicants

Mearns & Company collect and process personal data relating to job applicants as part of our recruitment process. We are committed to being transparent about how we collect and use that data and to meeting our data protection obligations.

This notice sets out the basis on which we collect, use and disclose the personal data of our job applicants, as well as your rights in respect of such personal data.

What information do we collect and how?

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

  • your name, address and contact details, including email address and telephone number;
  • details of your qualifications, skills, experience and employment history;
  • information from interviews and phone-screenings you may have;
  • information about your current level of remuneration, including benefit entitlements;
  • information about your entitlement to work in the UK;
  • equal opportunities monitoring information, including information about your ethnic origin, sexual orientation, health and religion or belief;
  • ability testing information;
  • information about your professional memberships; and
  • background check information.

We may also collect, use and process the following special categories of your personal information during the recruitment process:

  • whether or not you have a disability for which Mearns & Company needs to make reasonable adjustments during the recruitment process;
  • information about your racial or ethnic origin; and
  • information about criminal convictions and offences.

We may collect this information in a variety of ways. For example, data might be contained in application forms or CVs (including when these are sent to us as part of speculative applications or queries), obtained from your passport or other identity documents, or collected through interviews or other methods of assessment.

We may also collect personal data about you from third parties, such as references supplied by former employers or criminal records checks from Disclosure Scotland. We will seek information from third parties only once a job offer has been made to you.

Data will be stored in a range of different places, including on your application record, in our HR management systems and our email system.

Why do we process personal data?

We collect and process your data for a number of purposes and where we have a legal basis to do so, as follows.

We have a legitimate interest in processing personal data during the recruitment process 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.

In some cases, 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 may process information about whether or not applicants are disabled so we can make reasonable adjustments for candidates who have a disability. 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. Our processing of these types of data will be carried out to ensure you or us can meet our obligations or exercise our rights under law related to employment or (only where applicable) to enable us to establish, exercise or defend legal claims.

We will not use your data for any purpose other than the recruitment process of which you are a part.

Who has access to data?

Your information may be shared internally within Mearns & Company for the purposes of the recruitment process. This includes the directors of the company, interviewers involved in the recruitment process, and managers in the business area with a vacancy.

We will not share your data with third parties, unless your application for employment is successful, and an offer of employment is made. At that stage, we may also share your personal information with third parties (and their designated agents), including:

  • external organisations for the purposes of conducting ability tests, pre-employment reference and employment background checks;
  • Disclosure Scotland, to obtain a criminal record check;
  • former employers, to obtain references; and
  • professional advisors, such as lawyers

In addition, we may need to share your personal information with a regulator or otherwise to comply with the law.

How do we 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 personnel in the proper performance of their duties.

Where your personal information is shared with third parties, we require all third parties to take appropriate technical and organisational security measures to protect your personal information and to treat it subject to a duty of confidentiality and in accordance with data protection law. We only allow them to process your personal information for specified purposes and in accordance with our written instructions and we do not allow them to use your personal information for their own purposes.

For how long do we keep data?

If your application for employment is unsuccessful (including when you have speculatively applied to us in respect of a role which is not available), we will hold your data on file for 6 months. At the end of that period, your data is deleted or destroyed (unless we need to retain it for longer to exercise or defend any legal claims).

We may wish to keep your personal information on file in case there are future suitable employment opportunities with us. We will ask for your consent before we keep your personal information on file for this purpose. Your consent can be withdrawn at any time.

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 employee data is held will be provided to you in a separate privacy notice.

Your rights

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

  • access and obtain a copy of your data on request;
  • require us to change incorrect or incomplete data;
  • require us 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 we are relying on its legitimate interests as the legal ground for processing; or
  • ask us to transfer your data to another organisation.

If you would like to exercise any of these rights or if you have any questions about this notice or our processing of your data more generally, please contact Graeme Brown, our director with responsibility for data security, graemebrown@mearnscompany.com, 0131 554 771, Anchor House, 112 Commercial Street, Edinburgh, EH6 6NF.

We may need to request specific information from you in order to verify your identity and check your right to access the personal information or to exercise any of your other rights. This is a security measure to ensure that your personal information is not disclosed to any person who has no right to receive it.

If you believe that we have not complied with your data protection rights, you can complain to the Information Commissioner's Office (https://ico.org.uk/).

What if you do not provide personal data?

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