Usually we work with companies, but occasionally an individual will contact us asking for advice. This happened last week when an individual wanted to know if the company they were working for could send the daily emails about absences. The emails look something like this:
Email Sample 1
As you can see it shows who is absent and why. These emails are produced daily so could give a history of absences. Also is it appropriate to know why a person is absent. We all know staff team members who once they know you have been sick want to know what was wrong with you. Some people value their privacy and do not wish to discuss any illness or absence with others. Also, the company should have a lawful basis for processing the information in this way.

I suggested to the individual that they approach the company and ask the purpose for providing the information and the lawful basis for processing.

As the information contains information about health – sickness absence, dentist, doctor appointment – the company needs to be careful disclosing this information. They obviously did not have consent from the individual, its unlikely to be part of the employment contract so the organisation is probably relying on legitimate interest. That is if they have even thought about their lawful basis for processing.

I can understand that the company would want to acknowledge the staff who are absent on a particular day, but it could be done like this:

email sample 2

Are you giving away personal information with the best intentions but upsetting someone in the process?
Are you clear what your lawful basis for processing is for each use of the personal information?