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Does disclosing employee salary payments contravene data protection?

0 votes
I've been informed that full council is not allowed to see individual employee salary payments, other than an aggregated amount for all employees, as part of approving payments at a council meeting as it contravenes data protection act. Can anyone shed any light on this revelation.
by (120 points)

3 Answers

0 votes
The data in question (the individual salary amounts) is "owned" by the Council as a whole as data controller. It is for the full Council to decide which Councillors have a business need to see this. It should not be withheld if you agree that Councillors have a genuine need to know, but, as with any employer, sensitivity and discretion should be applied. Do you have a Personnel Committee?
by (2.0k points)
0 votes
It is often treated like a state secret which is all a bit silly really since there should have been an agreement on which spinal point is paid and that table is open source. Spinal point rate x hrs contracted equals gross pay.
It’s a bit silly to treat it like a state secret but you could also ask is there a specific reason you’d want to know it?

Issues like this are often examples of an existing or emerging power play.
by (3.0k points)
0 votes

As an employee - Please check your appropriate Financial regulations. This is taken from the NALC Model.

7.4. Each and every payment to employees of net salary and to the appropriate creditor of the statutory and discretionary deductions shall be recorded in a separate confidential record (confidential cash book). This confidential record is not open to inspection or review (under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 or otherwise) other than:

a) by any councillor who can demonstrate a need to know;

b) by the internal auditor;

c) by the external auditor; or

d) by any person authorised under Audit Commission Act 1998, or any superseding 

Hope this helps.

by (1.8k points)
a). demonstrate to who?
And this is where it starts to show just how silly it can become!

Who defines if the “need” is relevant and sufficient?

It could be argued that a Cllr (all Cllrs)  ‘need’ to know because they have to vote to approve the payment.
How can they - properly - discharge their due diligence in approving payments if they are denied access to scrutinise them.
I know of a Council where the staff tell the staff committee what pay scale they should be on

Another Council recruited a Clerk who promptly asked for an received a 25% pay rise
I think there’s scope for someone to set up as an independent consultant to PC’s to review pay scales and performance as most PC’s haven’t got a clue

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