ICO tells employers they can share staff data in a mental health emergency

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has published new guidance which it says gives employers more certainty about sharing their workers’ personal details in a mental health emergency.  The guidance provides advice on when and how it is appropriate to share workers’ information when the employer believes that someone is at risk of causing serious harm to themselves, or others, because of their mental health.

Chris Hogan, ICO Head of Regulatory Strategy, said: “We want to reassure employers that during a mental health emergency they should share necessary and proportionate information without delay with relevant and appropriate emergency services or health professionals. It is a good idea to plan ahead, as this will help you to make well informed decisions if you need to. Our guidance will help you do that and includes useful case studies to illustrate how the law can work in practice.”

The new guidance is part of a range of guidance produced by the ICO to help employers look after personal information in line with data protection law. The ICO also has a data sharing hub with useful guides on when and how to share personal information.

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) is the UK’s independent regulator for data protection and information rights law, upholding information rights in the public interest, promoting openness by public bodies and data privacy for individuals.