Gateway & Welfare Services - Privacy notice
Our service covers housing, benefits, debt management, employment support and social care assessment to support families within the borough of Croydon affected by government welfare reforms e.g. the benefit cap and Universal Credit. We also provide financial support, skills training and welfare benefit advice to individuals and families in Croydon to prevent them from becoming homeless and to help them support themselves independently.
For you to access our services, we need to collect personal information about you as well as make further enquiries about your personal circumstances so that we can assess whether the Council or our statutory and non-statutory partners may be able to support you.
We are committed to protecting your privacy when you use our services. This Privacy Notice explains how we use your personal information and how we protect your privacy in compliance with the requirements of the Data Protection Act 2018 and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) 2018. By personal information, we mean information which, by itself or with other data (that is available to Croydon Council) that can be used to identify you. This notice applies to any activity involving our use of your personal data, for example, collecting, storing, sharing, and destroying it.
For more information about how the Council uses your information and your data rights, please refer to the Council’s Corporate Privacy Notice available at www.croydon.gov.uk/privacy.
What information we collect
When you contact us, or register with us, or use our services we collect personal information about you including some or all of the following:
- your contact details (your name, address, email address and telephone number)
- your personal details (your date of birth, gender, ethnicity, religious beliefs and sexual orientation)
- you and your family’s immigration status
- who else lives with you along with their details (e.g. partner, children and other adults)
- proof of your identity (e.g. your passport and driving licence)
- your national identifiers (your NHS number and National Insurance number)
- details about any arrears and/or debts, including your financial details (e.g. bank account details)
- details of your employment status, benefits and income including any savings/investments
- your qualifications
- details about your lifestyle, social and personal circumstances (including your household details, any caring responsibilities you may have, your first language and any other languages you may speak and your access to transport)
- whether you require an interpreter and/or translator
- detail about your digital skills (what computer skills you have, your access to the internet, your IP address – this is the individual address of your computer)
- details about your health (for example, any disabilities, illnesses, mental-health problems, addictions/dependencies and any support you receive in relation to these)
- details about any criminal convictions and offences
- tenancy or contract information (if you are a leaseholder)
- details of your landlord and the amount of rent paid and any other information required to process an application under our service
- correspondence, emails, letters and notes of telephone conversations between you and our staff
- we also collect information when you voluntarily complete customer surveys and provide feedback, including complaints
Without this information, we will not be able to process your application.
The majority of information provided by you is usually mandatory for the purposes specified in this notice. Some of it, however, is provided by you on a voluntary basis. We will inform you whether you are required by law to provide certain information to us. If you do have a choice as to whether to provide information that is not mandatory because the service we provide is optional, your explicit consent will be requested. We will usually seek your consent when you give us your information. We will also seek to refresh your consent from time to time to ensure that you are still happy for us to use your data.
If you wish to withdraw your consent, please contact us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org so we can deal with your request. This will only affect the way we use personal information when our reason for doing so is that we require your consent. If you withdraw your consent, we may not be able to provide certain products or services to you. If this is the case, we will tell you.
We will not disclose your personal information to third parties for marketing or commercial purposes.
We do not make or use any automated (that is, without any human involvement) decision-making including profiling.
Why we collect your information
We use your data including but not limited to:
- help you to apply for the correct services (e.g. claiming extra benefits to help towards meeting regular costs such as fuel bills, healthier food, care, mobility and council tax)
- fulfil our legal duties including but not limited to safeguarding at-risk adults and children
- help you with debt advice and budgeting
- assist with applications to third-sector organisations such as grants, aids and adaptations
- provide discretionary funds to eligible residents
- prevent homelessness or if you are at risk of homelessness (relief and prevention legal duties)
- assist you with finding and/or moving to suitable and affordable accommodation
- assist individuals and families with No Recourse to Public Funds (NRPF)
- provide support to residents with finding employment
- signpost residents on for further support (e.g. Public Health, local community projects)
- collect debts (e.g. former tenant arrears, or if you have defaulted on your council tax payments under a special payments arrangement)
- prevent, detect and prosecute fraud, corruption or other crimes
- deliver national government programmes and initiatives
- produce statistics and reports to plan new services. Statistics are used in such a way that individuals or families cannot be identified from them
- inform targeted support to adults, young people and families most in need and at risk of harm or abuse
- provide and/or signpost to a range of outreach services for people who may excluded due to age, poor health lack of transport and psychological barriers to access mainstream advice services
- provide a home visit service for those who are unable to leave their home
- some of the services we provide are optional: in that case, we will only process your information and provide the service if you have asked us to do
- provide efficient and effective services
Who we share information with
We may share information about you to third parties to deliver our services effectively, or when required to do so by law for all lawful purposes as specified in this notice:
- other Croydon Council teams so they can carry out their statutory roles and support our service (e.g. social services, housing, environmental services, anti-social behaviour team, complaints, legal services, prevention, single homelessness service and relief teams)
- other local authorities (e.g. environmental services, social services, housing, income and benefits, early years help, education)
- government departments, agencies and other public bodies (e.g. HMRC, DWP, Home Office, Department for Communities and Local Government)
- Family Justice Centre
- Multi-agency risk assessment conference (MARAC)
- emergency services
- NHS, GP surgeries and hospitals
- health and medical professionals
- your landlord (previous and current)
- employment and training providers
- banks or organisations that lend money
- social housing providers
- private rental landlords and/or housing companies
- estate agents and/or property management companies
- housing associations
- schools and other education providers
- charities and community support organisations
- credit reference agencies
- third party service providers, e.g. accommodation providers and emergency accommodation for homeless households, local refuge providers
All organisations we pass your information to will have an information-sharing agreement with us to ensure they meet the standards of the GDPR and the Data Protection Act 2018, and will be covered by a legal basis allowing them to collect, use and share your personal information.
The lawful basis on which we use this information
- Compliance with our legal obligations
- Tasks carried out in the public interest or in the exercise of official authority
- Contract for the supply of services
Our website www.croydon.gov.uk contains links to other websites. This Privacy Notice only applies to our service and explains how we comply with data protection law – so when you link to other websites you should read their own privacy policies.
Storing this information
Personal data will not be retained for longer than necessary in relation to the purposes for which they were collected. There is usually a legal reason for keeping your personal information for a set period of time – this ranges from months for some records to years for more sensitive records.
We securely destroy all information once we have used it and no longer need it.
If you would like to know more about how we store your data, please contact us on email@example.com.
Providing us with accurate information
It is very important that you provide us with accurate information to enable us to process your application more quickly. If any of your details have changed, or change in the future, please inform us as soon as possible so that we can update your records.
If false or inaccurate information is provided and fraud is identified, details will be passed to fraud prevention agencies. Law enforcement agencies may access and use this information.
Requesting access to your personal data
Under GDPR and the Data Protection Act 2018, you have the right to request access to information that we hold about you. To make a request for your personal information, please contact the Council’s Information Management Team at SAR@croydon.gov.uk.
The GDPR and Data Protection Act 2018 give you a number of rights to control what personal information is used by us and how it is used by us. Information about your individual data rights is listed in the Council’s Privacy Notice.
If you have any questions or concerns about the way we collect, store or use your personal information, please contact in the first instance on firstname.lastname@example.org.
For advice about data protection issues, you can contact the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) at www.ico.org.uk.
We reserve the right to amend this Privacy Notice at any time and will keep it under review. If we do make any changes, we will post the current version to our website at this address.
Last updated: July 2018