Tuesday, 3 December 2019

Questions (561)

Thomas Pringle

Question:

561. Deputy Thomas Pringle asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection the assurances that can be given to those jobseekers' assigned to a UK company (details supplied) which stores private data in its head office in Hoxley, UK, that their personal data is fully protected; the way in which persons can be assured that this will be the case post-Brexit in view of the fact this private data will fall outside the protection of EU or Irish law; and the measures that have been put in place to ensure same. [49781/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Employment)

JobPath is an employment activation service that supports people who are long-term unemployed and those most at risk of becoming long-term unemployed to secure and sustain paid employment. The service is delivered by two companies, Seetec and Turas Nua.

Information is shared with these contractors to enable them to provide employment services on behalf of the Department. The purpose of sharing this information is to assist in the development of tailored personal progression plans, for individual jobseekers in order to support them back into paid employment.

I am happy to assure the Deputy that no personal information of DEASP customers is stored outside Ireland by either JobPath contractor and that post Brexit this will continue to be the case.

Seetec are contracted providers of Activation services and act on behalf of the Department for the purpose of delivering these services and are subject to strict obligations imposed by the Department in terms of data protection.

My Department’s contracts with the JobPath providers are in compliance with all relevant legislation and any information shared is contractually-based and necessary to provide an employment service. All contracts in place are in accordance with the laws of Ireland.

JobPath providers are contractually required to register with the Office of the Data Protection Commissioner as data processors and are legally bound to observe and adhere to data protection requirements.

Both contractors have undertaken regular independent audits of their data processes and procedures as part of these contractual obligations. In addition, the Office of the Data Protection Commissioner has conducted audits of each JobPath contractor. Employees of both contractors, and their subcontractors, are subject to the same data protection laws as Departmental staff.

I trust that this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.