TO: All Mandate Members, Dunnes Stores
RE: Data Processing Complaint
29 September 2021
As you are aware, we wrote to Dunnes Stores on 27 August 2021 regarding the processing of our members’ personal sensitive data. To date we have received no response from the Company and in this regard we have now made a complaint to the Data Protection Commission, please see the contents of same dated 22nd September 2021 below.
We will keep you updated on all and any developments.
For Mandate Trade Union
The Dunnes Stores National Committee
Data Protection Officer
The Data Protection Commission
21 Fitzwilliam Square South
22 September 2021
Re: Complaint about Data Processing
To Whom It Concerns,
I am writing to you regarding concerns raised by our members and this Union on the 27th August 2021 with Dunnes Stores in relation to issues regarding the objectionable processing of personal sensitive data by their employer, which our members believe is unnecessary. Dunnes Stores Store Attendance Forms and copies of correspondence to the company are attached for your convenience. In relation to the specific questions on the Dunnes declaration form, our views are as follows:
Questions 5, 7, 8 and 10 are variations on the same question and ask whether employees that have travelled abroad have complied with the guidance in relation to mandatory hotel quarantine. These questions include whether the employee has received a negative PCR test and/or whether the employee is vaccinated. These questions are in line with current travel restrictions advising that those that travel from designated states submit themselves to mandatory hotel quarantine but they are not prescribed by the Protocol.
Question 5 and 10, the Protocol directs those that “have arrived in Ireland from abroad” to the mandatory hotel quarantine government guidance. Having reviewed this guidance, it does not require employers to ensure that employees have conducted mandatory hotel quarantine until they have received a negative PCR test. The sub-question about a negative PCR test arguably touches on special category (sensitive) personal data, and we believe it is therefore open to objection on the basis that it disproportionately infringes members’ data protection rights in circumstances where the same purpose could be achieved by asking employees to simply confirm that they are in a position to return to work having fully complied with the mandatory hotel quarantine guidelines.
Our members believe questions regarding vaccination status amounts to health data and is, therefore, categorised as special category data. We believe questions about whether an employee has been vaccinated are objectionable from the perspective of a member’s data protection rights. Mandate Trade Union’s position is that the questions as they are currently framed should be reworded and that our members should only be required to do no more than confirm that they are in a position to return to work having fully complied with the mandatory hotel quarantine guidelines/HSE guidance protocols.
On behalf of Dunnes Stores National Strategy Team