Solution promised on sick leave records

The Information Commission has promised to find a solution to the
controversial data rule which requires employers to get consent before keeping
staff sickness records, and may even ask for a change to the law.

Assistant Information Commissioner David Smith said he accepted the
arguments of HR directors and employers on the issue and is working to find a
solution. "The only thing you can do is change that. We will join you in
asking for that to happen," said Smith.

If a solution cannot be found within existing legislation, the commission
will discuss an amendment to the Data Protection Act with the Lord Chancellor.

Smith agreed that sickness records are essential. Under the Act, sickness
records count as "sensitive personal data", which requires the
organisation to get consent before keeping records.

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