Can an employer refuse a request from an unsuccessful job applicant to delete any of their data in its possession as it may be necessary for the defence of legal claims?

Posted in : First Tuesday Q&A NI on 7 September 2021
Chris Fullerton
Arthur Cox NI
Issues covered: Data Protection; Good Practice

An employer’s data protection obligations extend to job applicants in relation to retention and erasure of personal data. As a matter of good practice, employers should seek consent from applicants at the outset in relation to their application kept on file in case of future vacancies.

At this point, employers should give a time period for which the application would be retained which should reflect the likelihood of vacancies arising and the application remaining up to date and valid in respect of those vacancies. Once this time period lapses, the data relating to the applicant should be erased.

If an employer receives an erasure request prior to the above time period lapsing, the

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Back to Q&A's This article is correct at 07/09/2021

The information in this article is provided as part of Legal-Island's Employment Law Hub. We regret we are not able to respond to requests for specific legal or HR queries and recommend that professional advice is obtained before relying on information supplied anywhere within this article.

Chris Fullerton
Arthur Cox NI

The main content of this article was provided by Chris Fullerton. Contact telephone number is 028 9023 0007 or email

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