Research into DWP’s Employment Support Offer: Privacy Information Notice

Data protection legislation and personal data

Data protection legislation determines how, when, and why any organisation can process personal data. ‘Personal data’ means any information which can identify someone. ‘Processing’ means any actions performed on personal data, including: collection, storage, alteration or deletion. These laws exist to ensure that your data are managed safely and used responsibly. They also provide you with certain rights in respect of your data and creates a responsibility on the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and the research organisations it works with to provide you with certain information.

This privacy notice sets out the legal basis for processing data in relation to this research project, which is being completed by the Institute for Employment Studies (IES). This includes who will have access to your personal data, how your data will be used, stored and deleted, your legal rights and who you can contact with a query or a complaint.

The legal basis for processing personal data

The legal basis under which DWP and its contractors process personal data and ‘special category data’, such as information about your health and well-being, racial or ethnic origin, is to fulfil DWP’s public authority duty and for research that is in the public interest.

This legal justification applies to this research project, which is examining how the employment support measures announced by the government in response to the Covid-19 pandemic are working in different local contexts. The study will involve case study research in a selection of areas across the UK. Each case study will involve in-depth interviews with local Jobcentre Plus staff and partner organisations, claimants and employers/ employer representative bodies, alongside observations of claimant and staff meetings and interactions in Jobcentres.

In order to arrange interviews, your name and contact details (phone number or email address) will be shared with the IES research team. This personal information will only be processed for the purposes of completing this research, under the direction of DWP. Participation in the research is completely voluntary – just because you are contacted, does not mean that you have to take part and you can decline the invitation without having to give a reason.

Prior to undertaking observations, the IES research team will ask for your agreement to take part. The researcher will note details of the interaction. Any personal information collected will only be processed for the purposes of completing this research, under the direction of DWP. Participation in an observation is voluntary – just because you are asked, does not mean that you have to take part and you can decline the invitation without having to give a reason.

Who will have access to my personal data?

For interviews, your contact details will be stored on an encrypted server, with access restricted solely to members of the research team. Even after these contacts details have been shared with the research team, you are still free to withdraw from the research and can decline to take part in an interview without having to give a reason.

If you agree to take part in a research interview or observation, any information you provide will be summarised in an anonymised format – this means we will remove any information that could be used to identify you.

How will my data be treated?

If you are invited and choose to take part in an interview or observation, the information you give will only be used for purposes of this study. IES will produce a report summarising the main findings from each case study. This will be shared with operational leaders, analysts and policy makers at DWP but is not intended for wider publication, though it could be subject to a freedom of information request or shared with other stakeholders. Individuals will not be named in the reports, nor will any information be included that could reveal their identity.

When we complete all of the case studies, we will produce a final summary report. This report will be made publicly available.

Data protection law requires that personal data are kept for no longer than is necessary. We will anonymise the information you provide as soon as we practically can (i.e. within 2 weeks of the interview date). The personal data we used to contact you will be securely deleted from the IES systems six months after the project is complete (currently estimated to be September 2024).

Who can I contact if I would like to withdraw my interview or observation data?

You have rights under data protection law to make the following requests the personal data held about you that is being processed for this research, including:

■    to request access to this data

■    to amend any incorrect or inaccurate information

■    to restrict or object to your data being processed

■    to destroy this data

■    to move, copy or transfer your data.

You have the right to withdraw the information you have provided as part of the interviews or observations up to 2 weeks after the interview date. After this point the information will have been anonymised and will no longer be treated as personal data.

If you have taken part in an interview or observation but would like your data withdrawn, please contact:

Who can I contact with a query about how my data will be used?

If you have any questions about how your data will be used, please contact Rosie Gloster, Project Manager at IES:

Who can I contact with a complaint?

Further information on the rights available to you is also available from the Information Commissioner’s Office - the independent body responsible for regulating data protection within the UK. They can also deal with any complaints you may have regarding our use of your data:

■    Tel: 0303 123 1113

■    Email:

■    Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF