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  • Confidentiality

    Introduction

    LawCare provides emotional and wellbeing support to members of the legal profession in the UK. It is regulated by the Charities Commission.

    LawCare is committed to operating at all times, and in everything that we do, to the highest standards of integrity. However, we recognise that all organisations can occasionally be affected by conduct that is dangerous, against the law, or breaches ethical or professional codes.

    By promoting a culture of openness within LawCare, employees and other stakeholders are encouraged to raise issues which are of concern. Knowing about concerns at an early stage, means steps can be taken to safeguard the interests of all and should usually prevent problems before they happen.

    This policy does not form part of any employee’s contract of employment. LawCare may unilaterally introduce, vary, remove or replace this Policy at any time.

    We are committed to good practice and aim to review our policy annually.

    Aim

    We aim to provide a high-quality support and information service to people working within the legal community and concerned family members and others. It’s important that we know about any problems so we can deal with them quickly and effectively. This also helps us to continue to improve the service we offer.

    Scope

    This policy applies to all staff, the Board of Trustees, volunteers, consultants, stakeholders, and anyone working on behalf of LawCare. It should be read in conjunction with all other relevant LawCare policies. All LawCare staff are expected to comply with this policy and failure to comply may lead to disciplinary action for misconduct.

    It should be read alongside our other policies and procedures in particular those relating to Safeguarding and Data Protection.

     

    LawCare is committed to providing a high-quality service to the legal community. We hold the privacy and dignity of those seeking our support in high regard, and we recognise the importance of confidentiality in our interactions with individuals who contact us for help. It is important that anyone contacting LawCare has complete confidence and trust in our services. Our service is confidential, and we carefully protect any information that individuals choose to share with us.

    Any information that an individual discloses to a member of the support services team (both staff and volunteers) or to a peer supporter is treated respectfully and sensitively. The team work closely to ensure that individuals receive the best support we can offer so sometimes it is necessary to share information within the team. In accordance with good self-care practice the team may also discuss matters in confidential supervision or support sessions with counsellors who are under the same obligations regarding confidentiality as staff and volunteers.

    Personal information conveyed to LawCare will not be shared outside the LawCare without explicit and informed consent (other than in the exceptional circumstances listed below). Sometimes in order to help an individual we may need to liaise with external organisations so that we can provide effective support, e.g. contacting other support agencies or counsellors. In these circumstances we will ask for permission to share any relevant information.

    Exceptional circumstances and limitations to confidentiality

    There are rare instances when we are unable to maintain our commitment to confidentiality. These are circumstances where:

    • An individual is perceived to be at serious and immediate risk of harming themselves or others
    • An individual discloses details of their involvement in child abuse or abuse of a vulnerable adult
    • We are required by law to do so.

    In such circumstances we would seek to obtain consent prior to disclosure of any personal information, but if the risk of non-disclosure is judged to be sufficiently serious the information will be shared without consent.

    Record Keeping

    Individuals may provide information of a personal and sensitive nature about their health, finances, work circumstances or personal difficulties. A record of the discussion will be kept to ensure that the appropriate response is provided, particularly if the individual contacts LawCare again. Notes may record the key points or issues raised, the information given by the support services team (including volunteers), relevant background information and any follow-up action, as well as contact details if disclosed. Access to this information is limited to staff only on a need-to-know basis.

    We keep computer-based records of information provided to us. All personal and sensitive data is processed in accordance with the requirements of the General Data Protection Regulation 2018.

    We collect routine statistical information about those using our services, which is anonymised and used for reporting and evaluation purposes. This information may be summarised and used in LawCare publications. We take great care to ensure that no individually identifiable information is disclosed.

    The period for which records are held before destruction and the way in which LawCare handles data is informed by current data protection legislation and good practice within the helpline sector.

    Access to Records

    Under the General Data Protection Regulation (2018) individuals have the right to access information held about them. Individuals may request access to the personal data held about them by LawCare by emailing [email protected]

     

    This document was last reviewed in February 2023

  • Privacy Notice

    Introduction

    LawCare provides emotional and wellbeing support to members of the legal profession in the UK. It is regulated by the Charities Commission.

    LawCare is committed to operating at all times, and in everything that we do, to the highest standards of integrity. However, we recognise that all organisations can occasionally be affected by conduct that is dangerous, against the law, or breaches ethical or professional codes.

    By promoting a culture of openness within LawCare, employees and other stakeholders are encouraged to raise issues which are of concern. Knowing about concerns at an early stage, means steps can be taken to safeguard the interests of all and should usually prevent problems before they happen.

    This notice does not form part of any employee’s contract of employment. LawCare may unilaterally introduce, vary, remove or replace this notice at any time.

    We are committed to good practice and aim to review our policies, notices, and agreements annually.

     

    Aim

    We aim to provide a high-quality support and information service to people working within the legal community and concerned family members and others. It’s important that we know about any problems so we can deal with them quickly and effectively. This also helps us to continue to improve the service we offer.

    This privacy notice states the legal basis for LawCare to hold and use information about you, and explains how we use any personal information we collect about you. It also sets out LawCare’s commitment to protecting the privacy of its service users and other individuals including staff and suppliers’ staff.

    LawCare records data on the lawful basis of legitimate interest in accordance with Article 6.1(f) of the General Data Protection Regulation. Collecting and processing this data enables us to provide the service expected by service users and other stakeholders. We may also collect special category data under Article 9.2(d) in order to better assist service users and ensure that we are reaching all sections of the legal community.

    LawCare’s other data protection policies and procedures are:

    • Confidentiality policy
    • Data Protection Policy
    • Data breach policy

     

    Scope

    This notice applies to all personal data processed by LawCare and is part of LawCare’s approach to compliance with data protection law. All LawCare staff are expected to comply with this notice and failure to comply may lead to disciplinary action for misconduct,

     

    What information do we collect about you?

    Helpline calls, support emails and live chat

    When you call the LawCare helpline or contact us for support by email or live chat, we may note information you voluntarily and freely give us, including your name, telephone number, address, email address, work circumstances, and brief notes regarding the issue you have contacted us about which may include details of your health and personal circumstances. Unless withheld by you your telephone number may be available to our agents and we may note this in order to better assist you and to ensure accurate record keeping. You have the right to request that we do not record this or any information and we will comply with this request.

    Other Contacts

    When you contact LawCare by email or other means we may record your name, contact information, and a brief note of the purpose of the communication.

     

    Where do we keep this information

    We use cloud storage for our CRM and other data, documents and resources. Wherever possible we ensure that data is stored on UK servers which comply with UK GDPR regulations. Where this is not possible the servers may be in Europe and managed under the European GDPR framework.

     

    How do we use the information about you?

    Helpline calls, support emails and live chat

    The information we collect about you is used by our staff and volunteers so that they can support you. We keep your personal information for 3 years since the last contact in order to better assist you should your issue be ongoing or further support be required at a future date. We record some statistical information from each contact to report on and improve our service. This includes information about gender, the issue you contacted us about, your professional background and practice jurisdiction. This information never reports about specific people. 

    We will only share your information if you have expressly given us permission to do so, or

    where:

    • We are concerned that you are perceived to be at serious and immediate risk of harming yourself or others
    • You disclose details of involvement in child abuse or abuse of a vulnerable adult
    • We are required by law to do so.

     

    Other contacts

    We keep your personal information to help us contact you in the ways in which you have asked us to make contact.  For example, sending out a newsletter you have asked to receive, or asking you to work with us in ways you have expressed an interest in.

    We will not share your information with third parties or for marketing purposes unless you have expressly given us permission to do so.

     

    Access to your information and correction

    You have the right to request a copy of the information we hold about you. If you would like access to some or all your information please email or write to us at the address given at the end of this notice.

    We want to make sure that your personal information is accurate and up to date.  Please ask us to correct or remove any information you think is inaccurate.

     

    The right to request erasure (also known as the right to be forgotten)

    You have the right to ask for the deletion or removal of personal information where there is no compelling reason for it to be kept, but if the purposes for which the information was collected still exist, LawCare will be entitled to keep the information. Any request for erasure should be sent to the address below.

     

    The right to complain

    If you are concerned about the way LawCare deals with your personal information you have the right to complain to the Information Commissioners Office. You can contact them by calling 0303 123 1113 or go online to www.ico.org.uk/concerns.

     

    Changes to this notice

    We review this notice from time to time and updates will be put on our website www.lawcare.org.uk/our-policies/

     

    How to contact LawCare

    Please contact us if you have any question/s about this notice or the information we hold about you by writing to PO Box 576, Newton Abbot, TQ12 9NN or emailing [email protected]

     

    This notice was last reviewed in July 2023

  • Complaints policy

    Introduction

    LawCare provides emotional and wellbeing support to members of the legal profession in the UK. It is regulated by the Charities Commission.

    LawCare is committed to operating at all times, and in everything that we do, to the highest standards of integrity. However, we recognise that all organisations can occasionally be affected by conduct that is dangerous, against the law, or breaches ethical or professional codes.

    By promoting a culture of openness within LawCare, employees and other stakeholders are encouraged to raise issues which are of concern. Knowing about concerns at an early stage, means steps can be taken to safeguard the interests of all and should usually prevent problems before they happen.

    This policy does not form part of any employee’s contract of employment. LawCare may unilaterally introduce, vary, remove, or replace this Policy at any time.

    We are committed to good practice and aim to review our policies, notices, and agreements annually.

     

    Aim

    We aim to provide a high-quality support and information service to people working within the legal community and concerned family members and others.

    We recognise that sometimes our service may not meet people’s needs or expectations and when this happens it’s important that we know about it so we can respond to any problems quickly and effectively.  This also helps us to continue to improve the service we offer.

     

    Scope

    This policy applies to all staff, the Board of Trustees, volunteers, consultants, stakeholders, and anyone working on behalf of LawCare. It should be read in conjunction with all other relevant LawCare policies. All LawCare staff are expected to comply with this policy and failure to comply may lead to disciplinary action for misconduct.

     

    What to do if you have a complaint about LawCare’s service, staff, or volunteers

    Please contact the Chief Executive by email at [email protected] or write to her at Elizabeth Rimmer, CEO, LawCare, PO Box 576, Newton Abbot, TQ12 9NN.

    If your complaint is about the CEO, please put this in writing to the Chair, Andrew Caplen, PO Box 576, Newton Abbot, TQ12 9NN or email [email protected]

    All complaints are confidential and will be acknowledged in writing within 3 days and where possible the outcome of any investigation notified to you within in 14 days.

     

    Process

    The CEO will notify the Chair of any complaint received. The complaint will be investigated by discussing it with relevant staff member/volunteer/staff team and the complainant. The CEO will respond on behalf of LawCare (in consultation with the Chair) to the complainant and take any appropriate follow up action. Where the complaint is about the CEO, the Chair will follow the same process and consult with the Board.

    The response may include:

    • An explanation and an apology

    • An explanation of any relevant policy

    • An indication of changes made as a result of the complaint.

    • Notification of any disciplinary action

    • A rejection of the complaint

    There is no right of appeal to the Chair or Trustees as all complaints are responded to in consultation with them.

     

    Third party complaints

    A complaint coming from someone who is not a direct user of the service may be investigated, but it is likely that obligations of confidentiality, including GDPR, will mean that a full report cannot be made to the complainant if another party is involved.

     

    This policy was last reviewed in July 2023

  • Compliments policy

    Introduction

    LawCare provides emotional and wellbeing support to members of the legal profession in the UK. It is regulated by the Charities Commission.

    LawCare is committed to operating at all times, and in everything that we do, to the highest standards of integrity. However, we recognise that all organisations can occasionally be affected by conduct that is dangerous, against the law, or breaches ethical or professional codes.

    By promoting a culture of openness within LawCare, employees and other stakeholders are encouraged to raise issues which are of concern. Knowing about concerns at an early stage, means steps can be taken to safeguard the interests of all and should usually prevent problems before they happen.

    This policy does not form part of any employee’s contract of employment. LawCare may unilaterally introduce, vary, remove, or replace this Policy at any time.  We are committed to good practice and aim to review our policies, notices, and agreements annually.

     

    Aim

    We aim to provide a high-quality support and information service to people working within the legal community and concerned family members and others. It is valuable for us to know about any aspect of our service, or individual member(s) of our team, that are particularly appreciated by those we come into contact with. This also helps us to continue to improve the service we offer.

     

    Scope

    This policy applies to all staff, the Board of Trustees, volunteers, consultants, stakeholders, and anyone working on behalf of LawCare. It should be read in conjunction with all other relevant LawCare policies.

    LawCare welcomes feedback on its service. When a compliment is received either by email, phone, or other means, the member of staff receiving the communication will:

    • Thank the sender/caller for their feedback.

    • Ask for permission to securely pass their feedback to the relevant member of staff, helpline volunteer or peer supporter (where appropriate)

    • Ask for permission to note their comments (with all identifying details removed) for use in future LawCare materials or on the website.

    • Where appropriate, encourage the sender/caller to leave a review on LawCare’s social media channels.

    Where permission has been given, the quote or email is recorded in a document accessible only by LawCare staff.  Details of the caller/sender are removed, as are names of staff members, helpline volunteers, online chat volunteers, or peer supporters, and any other details which might identify any individual. The date and method by which the complimentary quote was received, are also recorded. This document provides source material for quotes used on LawCare’s website, annual impact report, and other literature.

    Where possible the quote is also recorded against the file of a support service user.

    Where permission is not given, either to report the compliment to other members of staff, or to record it, no note of the telephone call is taken, or the email is deleted.

    The caller/sender may contact LawCare at any point in future to request that their quote is not used, even if permission had originally been given. It will then be deleted from LawCare’s system and no longer used on promotional materials.

     

    This policy was last reviewed in July 2023

  • Safeguarding policy

    Introduction

    LawCare provides emotional and wellbeing support to members of the legal profession in the UK. It is regulated by the Charities Commission.

    LawCare is committed to operating at all times, and in everything that we do, to the highest standards of integrity. However, we recognise that all organisations can occasionally be affected by conduct that is dangerous, against the law, or breaches ethical or professional codes.

    By promoting a culture of openness within LawCare, employees and other stakeholders are encouraged to raise issues which are of concern. Knowing about concerns at an early stage, means steps can be taken to safeguard the interests of all and should usually prevent problems before they happen.

    This policy does not form part of any employee’s contract of employment. LawCare may unilaterally introduce, vary, remove or replace this Policy at any time.

    We are committed to good practice and aim to review all our policies, notices and agreements annually.

    Aim

    We aim to provide a high-quality support and information service to people working within the legal community and concerned family members and others. It’s important that we know about any problems so we can deal with them quickly and effectively. This also helps us to continue to improve the service we offer.

    The purpose of this policy is to:

    • protect our service users. Although LawCare works primarily with adults we recognise that our responsibility extends to all vulnerable beneficiaries including the children of adults who use our services;
    • provide staff and volunteers with the overarching principles that guide our approach to safeguarding and child protection

    Scope

    This policy is for the protection of all those with whom LawCare comes into contact including support service users and other professionals, and also volunteers and staff.

    LawCare is committed to safeguarding practice that reflects statutory responsibilities, government guidance, and complies with best practice recommendations.

     Legal framework

    This policy has been drawn up on the basis of law and guidance that seeks to protect children and adults in the United Kingdom who may be in vulnerable circumstances.

    Key terms and definitions

    A child is someone who has not yet reached their 18th birthday.

    An adult at risk (previously known as a vulnerable adult) is a person aged 18 or over who:

    • has needs for care and support and;
    • is experiencing or is at risk of abuse or neglect; and
    • as a result of those care and support needs is unable to protect themselves from either the risk of or the experience of abuse and neglect.

     Categories of abuse

    There are four main categories of abuse which are:

    • Physical abuse
    • Sexual abuse
    • Emotional abuse
    • Neglect

    However it is important to be aware of more specific types of abuse that fall within these categories such as:

    • Bullying and cyberbullying
    • Domestic abuse
    • Online abuse and
    • Historical abuse

    Types of abuse

    • Abuse can be a single act or repeated acts
    • Can be deliberate or unintentional or result from lack of knowledge
    • Can be an act of neglect, an omission or a failure to act
    • Can cause harm temporarily or over a period of time
    • Can occur in any relationship
    • Can be perpetrated by anyone, carried out by individuals or as part of a group or an organisation
    • Abuse can constitute a crime

    LawCare is committed to taking steps to ensure that anyone using our services is safe and to protect vulnerable people who might be

    • at risk, including from another person
    • experiencing suicidal thoughts or feelings
    • at risk in some other way

    LawCare follows clear principles of confidentiality as documented in our confidentiality policy and General Data Protection policy. Nevertheless there may be occasions when it is appropriate to share information and it is now a legal requirement that agencies and professionals work together around safeguarding issues. We will always try to obtain informed consent before sharing information. If this is not possible there may be occasions when to protect the best interests of service users it will be necessary to override this, for example if someone is at risk. On these occasions we may raise a safeguarding alert within LawCare and if appropriate involve outside agencies such as emergency services, social services, or any other agency deemed appropriate. Social Services have a duty to investigate if there is reasonable cause to suspect that a child is suffering or likely to suffer significant harm.

    If a safeguarding concern is identified it should be immediately discussed with the LawCare support services team to identify next steps which will include:

    • taking reasonable steps to ensure the vulnerable person is not in immediate danger and if necessary seeking urgent medical treatment
    • contacting the police if an applicable crime has been committed or someone is in immediate danger
    • making a written report of all material observations
    • if deemed appropriate the CEO after consultation with the Board of Trustees reporting the notified event to the relevant charity regulator

     

    This document was last reviewed in February 2023.

  • Service User agreement

    Introduction

    LawCare provides emotional and wellbeing support to members of the legal profession in the UK. It is regulated by the Charities Commission.

    LawCare is committed to operating at all times, and in everything that we do, to the highest standards of integrity. However, we recognise that all organisations can occasionally be affected by conduct that is dangerous, against the law, or breaches ethical or professional codes.

    By promoting a culture of openness within LawCare, employees and other stakeholders are encouraged to raise issues which are of concern. Knowing about concerns at an early stage, means steps can be taken to safeguard the interests of all and should usually prevent problems before they happen.

    This agreement does not form part of any employee’s contract of employment. LawCare may unilaterally introduce, vary, remove or replace this agreement at any time.

    We are committed to good practice and aim to review our policies, notices, and agreements annually.

    Aim

    We aim to provide a high-quality support and information service to people working within the legal community and concerned family members and others. It’s important that we know about any problems so we can deal with them quickly and effectively. This also helps us to continue to improve the service we offer.

    Scope

    This agreement applies to all those who have cause to use LawCare’s support services.

    Our confidentiality and quality commitments

    At LawCare we are committed to promoting and supporting good mental health and wellbeing across the legal community in the UK.  We have been supporting people in the legal sector for 25 years.

    We operate our service via three support channels:

    • Freephone helpline open 9-5.00 (Mon-Fri) 0800 279 6888
    • Online Live Chat available via the website www.lawcare.org.uk
    • Email contact

    Policies

    We have the following regularly updated polices in place to protect and help the service users we support:

    • Data Protection (GDPR)
    • Confidentiality
    • Privacy
    • Complaints/Compliments
    • Safeguarding
    • Equality & Diversity

    These are available to be read on request.

     Use of support channels

     Our team provide confidential listening, signposting, and emotional support.

    • Our team do not provide counselling or therapy and are not qualified to do so; where relevant we can signpost to guidance on how to find this support.
    • Our team members are not medically qualified and contact with a service user where medical conditions are mentioned is not a substitute for professional medical advice. We actively encourage support contacts with health concerns to speak to a qualified medical practitioner.
    • We do not provide legal advice and cannot comment on any legal proceedings.
    • LawCare does not give advice. Suggestions given or options discussed on our support channels do not constitute advice.
    • Our team will not tolerate abuse of any kind and will not engage with a service user they believe may be under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
    • Our team members keep notes of helpline calls, emails, and online chats. We may note down your telephone number if it is available to us. All notes are stored securely in line with GDPR and destroyed after three years from the date of the last contact.
    • Calls are sometimes recorded for monitoring/training purposes and all call recordings are destroyed within 60 days. Such calls will only be listened to by the core staff at LawCare and are never shared with third parties.
    • If you give feedback on our service during the course of the call or online chat we may use your brief comments in our publicity, including social media and our impact report. We will only do so when the comment is relatively generic, such as “it was helpful to talk things over”, and we will never do so in a way that allows you to be identified.

    Our policy regarding repeat callers

    • Service users may use the various support channels more than once if required.
    • Calls to our helpline should only very rarely exceed 30-45 minutes as lengthier contacts usually suggest the call has lost focus and become circular and counterproductive as well as tiring.
    • LawCare seeks to make its services available to as many people are possible. We reserve the right to limit repeat contacts in terms of time and frequency to ensure others can access our service. Such decisions will be made in consultation with the CEO and core staff and will be communicated to the service user.

    Responsibilities of Service Users

    • Service users take responsibility for the information they divulge.
    • Service users should not provide LawCare with any documents relating to their medical history, court cases, or anything else of a personal nature.
    • Photographs, videos, or any other personal documentation will be deleted and not opened or stored. If such media are opened in error the service user will be informed and the files deleted immediately.
    • To avoid caller dependence LawCare is not able to inform helpline callers as to when named volunteers or core staff members are on duty.
    • Service users are requested not to send gifts or cards for individuals. If they wish to show their appreciation they may donate via our website or provide feedback on our social media channels. All donations are used to benefit the aims of the charity and are gratefully received.

    Callback

    With your consent we may call you back after a reasonable period of time for feedback and to evaluate our service via an anonymized questionnaire. You may withdraw your consent at any time and are under no obligation to participate.

    Finally

    We aim to provide you with a safe, confidential space where you can access support and be signposted to help. 

     

    This agreement was last revised in February 2023

     

  • Statement of Service Standards
  • Data Protection Policy

    Introduction

    LawCare provides emotional and wellbeing support to members of the legal profession in the UK. It is regulated by the Charities Commission.

    LawCare is committed to operating at all times, and in everything that we do, to the highest standards of integrity. However, we recognise that all organisations can occasionally be affected by conduct that is dangerous, against the law, or breaches ethical or professional codes.

    By promoting a culture of openness within LawCare, employees and other stakeholders are encouraged to raise issues which are of concern. Knowing about concerns at an early stage, means steps can be taken to safeguard the interests of all and should usually prevent problems before they happen.

    This policy does not form part of any employee’s contract of employment. LawCare may unilaterally introduce, vary, remove or replace this Policy at any time.

    We are committed to good practice and aim to review our policy annually.

     

    Aim

    We aim to provide a high-quality support and information service to people working within the legal community and concerned family members and others. It’s important that we know about any problems so we can deal with them quickly and effectively. This also helps us to continue to improve the service we offer.

     

    Scope

    This policy applies to all staff, the Board of Trustees, volunteers, consultants, stakeholders, and anyone working on behalf of LawCare. It should be read in conjunction with all other relevant LawCare policies. All LawCare staff are expected to comply with this policy and failure to comply may lead to disciplinary action for misconduct.

    This policy applies to all personal data processed by LawCare and is part of LawCare’s approach to compliance with data protection law. All LawCare staff are expected to comply with this policy and failure to comply may lead to disciplinary action for misconduct, including dismissal.

    It should be read alongside our other policies and procedures in particular:

    • Confidentiality policy
    • Privacy notice
    • Data breach policy

    This policy sets out LawCare’s commitment to ensuring that any personal data, including special category personal data, which LawCare processes, is processed in compliance with data protection law. LawCare ensures that good data protection practice is embedded in the culture of our staff and our organisation.

    ‘Data Protection Law’ includes the UK General Data Protection Regulation (‘UK GDPR’) and the Data Protection Act 2018.

     

    Data protection principles

    LawCare complies with the data protection principles set out below. When processing personal data, it ensures that:

    • it is processed lawfully, fairly and in a transparent manner in relation to the data subject (‘lawfulness, fairness and transparency’)
    • it is collected for specified, explicit and legitimate purposes and not further processed in a manner that is incompatible with those purposes (‘purpose limitation’)
    • it is all adequate, relevant and limited to what is necessary in relation to the purposes for which they are processed (‘data minimisation’)
    • it is all accurate and, where necessary, kept up to date and that reasonable steps will be taken to ensure that personal data that are inaccurate, having regard to the purposes for which they are processed, are erased or rectified without delay (‘accuracy’)
    • it is kept in a form which permits identification of data subjects for no longer than is necessary for the purposes for which the personal data are processed (‘storage limitation’)
    • it is processed in a manner that ensures appropriate security of the personal data, including protection against unauthorised or unlawful processing and against accidental loss, destruction or damage, using appropriate technical or organisational measures (‘integrity and confidentiality’)

     

    Lawful basis

    LawCare records data on the lawful basis of legitimate interest in accordance with Article 6.1(f) of the UK GDPR. Collecting and processing this data enables us to provide the service expected by service users and other stakeholders.

    We may also collect special category data under Article 9 in order to better assist service users and ensure that we are reaching all sections of the legal community.

    The UK GDPR defines special category data as:

    • personal data revealing racial or ethnic origin;
    • personal data revealing political opinions;
    • personal data revealing religious or philosophical beliefs;
    • personal data revealing trade union membership;
    • genetic data;
    • biometric data (where used for identification purposes);
    • data concerning health;
    • data concerning a person’s sex life; and
    • data concerning a person’s sexual orientation.

     

    Process/procedures/guidance

    LawCare will:

    • ensure that the lawful basis for processing personal data is identified in advance and that all processing complies with the law
    • not do anything with personal data that the user would not expect given the content of this policy and the fair processing or privacy notice
    • ensure that appropriate privacy notices are in place advising staff and others how and why their data is being processed, and, in particular, advising data subjects of their rights
    • only collect and process the personal data that it needs for purposes it has identified in advance
    • ensure that, as far as possible, the personal data it holds is accurate, or a system is in place for ensuring that it is kept up to date as far as possible
    • only hold onto personal data for as long as it is needed, after which time LawCare will securely erase or delete the personal data
    • ensure that appropriate security measures are in place to ensure that personal data can only be accessed by those who need to access it and that it is held and transferred securely.

    LawCare will ensure that all staff who handle personal data on its behalf are aware of their responsibilities under this policy and other relevant data protection and information security policies, and that they are adequately trained and supervised. Obtaining (including accessing) or disclosing personal data in breach of LawCare’s data protection policies may be a criminal offence.

     

    Retention of Data

    LawCare retains personal data relating to users of its support service for three years from the date of our last contact with them, after which time they will be securely destroyed.

    Other data relating to employees/volunteers is retained for seven years from the date the employment/the voluntary arrangement ceases, for example, names and addresses of staff and volunteers, after which time they will be secure destroyed.

     

    Destruction of paper records

    Destruction is carried out in a way that preserves the confidentiality of the data. Non-confidential data can be placed in ordinary rubbish bins or recycling bins. Confidential data and records which contain personal data, is shredded. All copies are destroyed at the same time and in the same manner.

     

    Destruction of electronic records

    All electronic data, which includes emails, are either physically destroyed or wiped. This is done to a reasonable extent to ensure the data has been destroyed and removed from live and backup systems. 

     

    Data Subject Rights

    LawCare will facilitate any request from a data subject who wishes to exercise their rights under data protection law as appropriate, always communicating in a concise, transparent, intelligible and easily accessible form and without undue delay. 

    LawCare has processes in place to ensure that it can facilitate any request made by an individual to exercise their rights under data protection law. All staff have received training and are aware of the rights of data subjects. Staff can identify such a request and know who to send it to.  All requests will be considered without undue delay and within one calendar month of receipt.  

    Data subjects have the following rights:

     Access

    Individuals have the right to request information about how personal data is being processed, including whether personal data is being processed. They also have the right to be allowed access to that data along with the right to obtain the following information:

    • the purpose of the processing
    • the categories of personal data
    • the recipients to whom data has been disclosed or will be disclosed
    • the retention period
    • the right to lodge a complaint with the Information Commissioner’s Office
    • the source of the information if not collected direct from the subject, and
    • the existence of any automated decision making.

     

    Rectification

    This is the right to allow a data subject to rectify inaccurate personal data concerning them.

     

    Erasure

    This is the right to have data erased and to have confirmation of erasure, but only where:

    • the data is no longer necessary in relation to the purpose for which it was collected, or
    • where consent is withdrawn, or
    • where there is no legal basis for the processing, or
    • there is a legal obligation to delete data

     

    Restriction of processing

    This refers to the right to ask for certain processing to be restricted in the following circumstances:  

    • if the accuracy of the personal data is being contested, or
    • if our processing is unlawful but the data subject does not want it erased, or
    • if the data is no longer needed for the purpose of the processing but it is required by the data subject for the establishment, exercise or defence of legal claims, or
    • if the data subject has objected to the processing, pending verification of that objection.

     

    Object to processing

    Individuals have the right to object to the processing of personal data relying on the legitimate interests processing condition unless LawCare can demonstrate compelling legitimate grounds for the processing which override the interests of the data subject or for the establishment, exercise or defence of legal claims.

     

    Responsibility for this policy

    The Data Protection Officer at LawCare is Emma Manley. The CEO and trustees of LawCare take ultimate responsibility for this policy and for monitoring compliance with it.

    If you have any concerns or wish to exercise any of your rights under the UK GDPR, then you can contact the data protection officer by emailing [email protected]

     

    This policy was last updated in July 2023.