This privacy notice applies to job applicants (candidates) and users of our Search and Apply for Jobs service.

Who we are and what we do

We are the Human Resources Division for the London Borough of Merton ("LBM"). When you apply to work for us, we need certain information to progress your application and fulfil our obligations as a local authority employer.

What is the purpose of this document?

LBM is a "data controller". This means that we are responsible for deciding how we hold and use personal information about you. This privacy notice is for people who are applying for work with us (whether as an employee, worker or contractor). It makes you aware of how and why your personal data will be used, namely for the purpose of the recruitment exercise, and how long it will usually be retained for. It provides you with certain information that must be provided under the Data Protection Act 2018.   

Please note that not all aspects of this notice will necessarily apply to everyone who applies to work for us; and not all aspects of the processing for those seeking employment will apply to those seeking to work for us on a different basis and vice versa.

Data Protection Principles

We will comply with data protection law and principles which means that your data will be:

  • Used lawfully, fairly and in a transparent way.
  • Collected only for valid purposes that we have clearly explained to you and not used in any way that is incompatible with those purposes.
  • Relevant to the purposes we have told you about and limited only to those purposes.
  • Accurate and kept up to date
  • Kept only as long as necessary for the purposes we have told you about.
  • Kept securely

The kind of information we hold about you

In connection with your application for work with us, we will collect, store, and use the following categories of personal information about you:

  • The information you have provided to us in any curriculum vitae and cover letter.
  • The information you have provided on our application form, including name, title, address, telephone number, personal email address, date of birth, gender, employment history, qualifications, professional registration, information about your current level of remuneration, including benefit entitlements; information about your entitlement to work in the UK;
  • The information you provide to us via identity documents provided or during an interview, online test or other forms of assessment relevant to the recruitment process.
  • The information provided by way background and reference checks where applicable.

    We may also collect, store and use the following "specified categories" of more sensitive personal information:
  • Information about your disability, race or ethnicity, religious beliefs, sexual orientation and political opinions.
  • Information about your health, including any medical condition, health and sickness records.

How is your personal information collected?

We collect personal information about candidates from the following sources: -

  • You, the candidate;
  • Recruitment agencies, from which we collect personal data relevant to you
  • Disclosure and Barring Service in respect of criminal convictions (please see below);
  • Your named referees, from which we collect personal data relevant to you

LBM will seek information from third parties either before or after a job offer has been made and in all instances the organisation will inform you that it is doing so.

How we will use information about you


We will use the personal information we collect about you to:

  • Assess your skills, qualifications, and suitability for the work OR role.
  • Decide whether to invite you for an interview
  • Decide whether to offer you the role or work
  • Carry out background and reference checks, where applicable.
  • Communicate with you about the recruitment process
  • Keep records related to our hiring processes
  • Comply with legal or regulatory requirements

As a local authority LBM is legally empowered by local government legislation (e.g. the Local Government Act 1972) to manage the recruitment process, decide whether to appoint you to the role or work since it would be beneficial to LBM to appoint someone to that role or work in order to carry out its functions.

We also need to process your personal information to decide whether to enter into a contract (of employment) with you.

If you fail to provide personal information


If you fail to provide information when requested, which is necessary for us to consider your application (such as evidence of qualifications or work history), we will not be able to process

your application successfully. For example, if we require references for this role and you fail to provide us with the relevant details, we will not be able to take your application further. 

How we use particularly sensitive personal information

We will use your particularly sensitive personal information in the following ways:

  • We will use information about your disability status to consider whether we need to provide appropriate adjustments during the recruitment process, for example whether adjustments need to be made during a test or interview or other assessments relevant to the recruitment process. This is necessary for compliance with our legal obligations.
  • We will use information about your race or national or ethnic origin, religious philosophical or moral beliefs or sexual life or sexual orientation, to ensure meaningful equal opportunity monitoring and reporting, which is also necessary for compliance with a legal obligation to which we are subject as well as being an important aspect of our role as a public body. The Equality Act 2010 is the main relevant statutory provision in this context.

Information about criminal convictions

For some roles, LBM is obliged to seek information about criminal convictions and offences. Where the organisation seeks this information, it does so because it is necessary for compliance with obligations and to exercise specific rights in relation to your potential employment.

We will collect information about your criminal convictions history if we would like to offer you work OR role (conditional on checks and any other conditions, such as references, being satisfactory). We are required and/or entitled to carry out a criminal records check in order in order to satisfy ourselves that there's nothing in your criminal convictions history which makes you unsuitable for the role. In particular:

  • Where we are legally required by a regulatory body to carry out a criminal record checks for those carrying out the role OR work you have applied for;

  • Where the role you have applied for is one which is listed on the rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions) Order 1975 (SI 1975/1023) and is also specified in the Police Act 1997 (Criminal Records) Regulations (SI 2002/233)] so eligible for a standard OR enhanced check from the Disclosure and Baring Service;

  • The role, which you have applied for requires a high degree of trust and integrity since it may involve dealing with vulnerable people or high value resources on behalf of the organisation and so we would like to ask you to seek a basic disclosure of your criminal records history.

    A disclosure, or any associated correspondence, will not be retained for longer than is necessary for the recruitment decision to be made.

    In general, this will be no longer than six months after the date on which the recruitment or other relevant decisions have been taken, or after the date on which any dispute about the accuracy of the disclosure information has been resolved. The period should be exceeded only in very exceptional circumstances, which justify retention for a longer period. In these cases we will consult the DBS, if appropriate.

    Disclosure information will be destroyed by suitably secure means, e.g. shredding in the HR office. No photocopy or other image of the disclosure will be retained, nor will any copy or representation of the contents be made or kept.

A record of the following will be kept:

  • The date of a disclosure
  • The name of the subject
  • The type of disclosure
  • The position applied for
  • The unique number issued by the DBS
  • The recruitment decision

Who has access to data?

Your information will be stored in a range of secure places including your application record, HR management systems and other IT systems including email. Your information will be shared internally for the purposes of recruitment. This includes members of the HR and recruitment team, interviewers involved in the recruitment process, managers in the business area with a vacancy and IT staff if access to the data is necessary for the performance of their roles.

Why might you share my personal information with third parties?


The organisation will not share your data with third parties, unless your application for employment is successful and it makes you an offer of employment. The organisation will then share your data with current and former employers /other referees to obtain references for you, employment background checks providers to obtain necessary background checks and the Disclosure and Barring Service to obtain necessary criminal records checks.

All our third-party service providers (e.g. payroll and pensions services) are required to take appropriate security measures to protect your personal information in line with our policies. We do not allow our third-party service providers to use your personal data for their own purposes. We only permit them to process your personal data for specified purposes and in accordance with our own instructions.

Automated decision-making


Rarely, some of our recruitment and employment decisions are based solely on automated decision-making. In these instances, Automatic decision making applies to part of our job application process for the roles, usually where an essential criterion must be met in order to be considered for the role. This can include pre-application questions and assessments. Should the requirements for the role applied for not be met in such instances, the applicant will be rejected. You will not be subjected to decisions that will have significant impact

on you based solely on automated decision-making, unless we have lawful basis for doing so and we have notified you. You will also be given an opportunity to request reconsideration of the decision. For further information about the limited ways we employ automated decision making, please refer to our Corporate Privacy Statement for more information.

Data security

We have put in place appropriate security measures to prevent your personal information from being accidentally lost, used or accessed in an unauthorised way, altered or disclosed. In addition, we limit access to your personal information to those employees, agents, contractors and other third parties who have a business need-to-know. They will only process your personal information on our instructions and they are subject to a duty of confidentiality. Details of these measures may be obtained from our Data protection officer via

We have put in place procedures to deal with any suspected data security breach and will notify you and any applicable regulator of a suspected breach where we are legally required to do so.

Data retention

How long will you use my information for?


If your application for employment is unsuccessful, the organisation will hold your data on file for a period of up to six months after the end of the relevant recruitment process. We retain your personal information for a period so that we can show, in the event of a legal claim, that we have not discriminated against candidates on prohibited grounds and that we have conducted the recruitment exercise in a fair and transparent way. At the end of that period, your data is deleted or destroyed in accordance with our data retention policy.

If your application to work for us is successful, personal data gathered during the recruitment process will be transferred to your HR/personnel file and retained during your employment. The periods for which your data will be held, including after you have stopped working for LBM, will be provided to you in a separate privacy notice for employees, workers and contractors.

Your rights to connection with personal information

Under certain circumstances, by law you have the right to:

  • Request access to your personal information (commonly known as a "data subject access request"). This enables you to receive a copy of the personal information we hold about you and check that we are lawfully processing it.
  • Request correction of the personal information that we hold about you. This enables you to have any incomplete or inaccurate information we hold about you.
  • Request erasure of your personal information. This enables you to ask us to delete or remove personal information where there is no good reason for us to continue to process it. You also have the right to ask us to delete or remove your personal information where you have exercised your right to object to processing (see below).
  • Object to processing of your personal information where we are relying on a legitimate interest (or those of a third party) and there is something about your particular situation which makes you want to object to processing on this ground.
  • Request the restriction of processing of your personal information. This enables you to ask us to suspend the processing of personal information about you, for example if you want us to establish its accuracy or the reason for processing it.

    If you would like to exercise any of these rights, please contact the Data Protection Officer via

    If you believe that the organisation has not complied with your data protection rights, you can complain to the Information Commissioner, the UK Supervisory Body for data protection issues.

Right to withdraw consent

When you applied for this role, you provided consent by completing an application form to us processing information for the purpose of the recruitment exercise. You have the right to withdraw your consent for processing for that purpose at any time. To withdraw your consent, please contact the Recruitment Manager. Once we have received notification that you have withdrawn your consent, we will no longer process your application and, subject to our retention policy, we will dispose of your personal data securely.

Data Protection Officer

We have appointed a data protection officer (DPO) to oversee compliance with this privacy notice. If you have any questions about this privacy notice or how we handle your personal information, please contact the DPO via You have the right to make a complaint at any time to the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO), the UK supervisory authority for data protection issues.