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Tuesday,October 20,2020 12:16 PM

Confidentiality at the workplace

By Vision Reporter

Added 17th May 2009 03:00 AM

THE information required to hire, pay, and manage employees is sensitive. If it gets to the wrong people, it can be misused to commit fraud, discrimination, and other misbehaviours. Therefore, human resource (HR) practitioners have to make sure sensitive

THE information required to hire, pay, and manage employees is sensitive. If it gets to the wrong people, it can be misused to commit fraud, discrimination, and other misbehaviours. Therefore, human resource (HR) practitioners have to make sure sensitive

HR Insight - with Paula Kyabaggu Mukama

THE information required to hire, pay, and manage employees is sensitive. If it gets to the wrong people, it can be misused to commit fraud, discrimination, and other misbehaviours. Therefore, human resource (HR) practitioners have to make sure sensitive information is available only to the appropriate people.

Also, employees have a right to access their personal information and to correct it if the need arises. Human resource professionals often have personal information about employees because it is useful for developing important HR reports.

However, the challenge is deciding the kind of information that must be kept confidential, who can access it, and who must be able to make changes to it.
Also, there is a need to balance efficient and competitive business practices with the respect for employees’ privacy.
Controlling rumours and maintaining confidentiality have always been central issues in many Ugandan workplaces.

It is often difficult for HR managers to determine what should go public and what should remain confidential. In case of social stigma at the workplace due to issues like HIV/AIDS, confidentiality becomes a controversial issue since an employer may lose employee trust and confidence. Also, an employee’s date of birth/age is confidential.

Managers don’t need to know ages to effectively train, supervise, evaluate and reward employees. Disclosing an employee’s age could expose the employer to charges of age discrimination if an older employee is sacked or passed over for a promotion.

Treating sensitive personal information as confidential helps avoid these types of problems. Most HR professionals understand the stakes, and they support their employers in voluntarily protecting personal information.

But during times of lay-offs and other uncomfortable personnel issues, HR practitioners can feel lonely, isolated and even double-faced because they can’t always tell something to the people who will be affected most. If you can’t keep such confidences when the time comes, then you have to question whether you’re right for the career path you’re taking.

The respect one has for the confidentiality of his or her job’s responsibilities marks you as a true professional. Also, reverence for the confidentiality of your position is a main component for protecting that image.

Given the increasing legislation and sharper focus on workplace confidentiality, it’s important for HR professionals keep up todate with this issue and adopt strategies to minimise risk.

Keeping the organisation’s policies and procedures aligned with the law and updating appropriate co-workers when need arises are the keys to complying with confidentiality standards.

You protect yourself and your company from legal consequences, and provide your employees with a secure working environment.

Confidentiality at the workplace

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