jLiving endeavours to create and maintain an open organisation where information is shared appropriately. However, the Association also recognises that good professional practice requires maintaining confidentiality in some areas to ensure that an individual’s rights to privacy are protected. All Jewish Community Housing Association staff should recognise each individual’s right to confidentiality. This policy should be read in conjunction with the Data Protection Policy.
2. SERVICE USERS’ CONFIDENTIALITY RIGHTS
- All tenants and applicants have a legal right to privacy and respect. Therefore all Association staff will treat information given to them by tenants and applicants and about tenants and applicants with the strictest confidence.
- All information regarding tenants and applicants should be dealt with on a need to know basis. That is, it should only be shared in order to arrive at a decision or to provide an appropriate service. Where information on a tenant or applicant is shared outside of jLiving, tenants and applicants must be made aware that this will happen. Where possible tenants and applicants should be encouraged to share information themselves.
- There will be times when the best interests of a tenant or applicant or the wellbeing of others will outweigh an individuals wishes for confidentiality. For example, in terms of the Protection of Vulnerable Adults, an individual who wishes to keep the alleged abuse confidential, may not be able to as this may increase the danger to other service users. If a staff member suspects this may be the case, then they should discuss this with their Line Manager before disclosing any information.
- Conversations relating to confidential matters should not take place in situations or places where they may be overheard, e.g. corridors, reception areas.
- Sensitive information should be carried between offices and schemes carefully and discreetly.
- If a staff member inadvertently hears or has access to confidential information then the onus is on the staff member to maintain that confidentiality unless it is appropriate to disclose the information to their Line Manager.
- Staff should consult with their Line Manager if they have concerns or doubts about disclosing information.
- Any member of staff wishing to access information on a tenant or applicant with whom they are not directly involved must seek permission from the relevant senior Manager.
- If a member of staff leaves jLiving or transfers their employment to another scheme within the organisation, then they are expected to maintain the confidentiality of the tenants that they have been working with. Also, they should not receive any confidential information about those service users after they have left, unless they continue to work there in a peripatetic basis
- Any breach of confidentiality may be the subject of disciplinary action and could result in dismissal.
3. INFORMATION ON STAFF
- The Chief Executive is responsible for all information kept on staff. Individual Senior Line Managers will maintain information pertaining to supervision, professional development and training.
- The Chief Executive and Senior Management will not disclose any personal information on an employee without the prior consent of that individual.
- All personnel information kept on computer conforms to the Data Protection Act 1998.
- All requests for references must go to the Chief Executive For further information, please refer to the Associations Recruitment Policy.
- Line Managers should keep supervision record sheets in a secure lockable facility where there is limited access.
- Personnel records including supervision notes and training records will only be disclosed to external agencies for the purposes of inspection with the express consent of the member of staff involved