The Council of Europe on 1st April 2015 published recommendation CM/Rec(2015)5 of the Committee of Ministers on the processing of personal data in the context of employment.

The Recommendation is linked to the principles of Convention 108 on data protection and is intended to provide guidance to Member States on ensuring harmonised legislation across the EU in relation to data protection in the work place.

The Recommendation covers a number of topics of which some of the most interesting relate to:

  • Minimisation of personal data in relation to employees;
  • Limitations on the use of employee data to purposes connected solely with employment;
  • Restrictions on the collection of sensitive data unless strictly necessary and/or in accordance with local law;
  • A requirement that genetic data should not be processed and that biometric data should be processed with appropriate technical and organisational safeguards;
  • Limitations on the use of monitoring and tracking software;
  • Limitations on the sole reliance on anonymous whistleblower reports for the purposes of an investigation;
  • A requirement that employers should not require employees to give access to social media accounts.