Former employees

Please read the AF&RS Employee Information Privacy Notice on our website, as a lot of the information there also applies to you.

There are also separate Privacy Notices for pensions depending on what Scheme you are in:

Much of the information we hold was provided by you during your employment, although some may have been received from internal sources such as your line manager, or external sources such as our occupational health provider. 

It’s unlikely we’ll need to collect any new information from you once you leave employment with us, unless there’s an ongoing requirement to do so.

Why we still hold information, and when we may use it

We’ll only use your personal information when the law allows us to and will endeavour to use your personal data in line with your reasonable expectations to ensure that any processing is fair, lawful and transparent, in line with the requirement of the Data Protection Legislation.

Below is a list of some of the possible circumstances we may need to hold and use any information after someone’s employment ends:

  • to perform obligations of the contract we entered into, such as the employment contract or a settlement agreement. Some of the contractual obligations in these contracts continue after employment has terminated, such as the duty to observe confidentiality,
  • to comply with a legal obligation, such as payroll and health & safety records that have to be retained because of current legislation,
  • to liaise with pension providers and the trustees/administrators of pension schemes, including ill health retirement pensions,
  • to carry out ongoing employment investigations or legal claims/disputes after someone has left employment, or if they have been cited as a witness to an investigation or claim,
  • to respond to queries about employment after the person has left,
  • to provide any employee related benefits someone is entitled to after they have left our employment,
  • for business management and planning, including accounting and auditing,
  • to provide employment references if asked for,
  • to prevent and detect fraud and for the prevention and detection of other crimes,
  • to conduct data analytical studies (such as the staff survey) to review and better understand employee retention and attrition rates,
  • for equality and diversity monitoring (anonymous for statistical purposes),
  • to keep former employees informed of AF&RS news if they have opted in to receive updates.

We may also use your personal information:

  • if we need to protect your interests (or someone else’s interests)
  • if it is needed in the public interest or for official purposes

We only use your personal information for the purposes we originally collected it, unless we reasonably consider we need to use it for another reason and that reason is compatible with the original purpose. If we need to, we will contact you and explain the legal basis which allows us to do so. 

Please note there may be circumstances where we may have to process your personal information without your knowledge or consent, but that will be where this is required or permitted by law, and will be in compliance with data protection legislation.

Civil Contingency Planning 

We may use your data to contact you but only when it is fair and reasonable so that we can perform our public task duties (as per GDPR 6e) as a Fire & Rescue Service, to fulfil our duties under the Civil Contingencies Act 2004, to support our partners, and for public health reasons in times of crisis (such as the COVID-19 national pandemic).  

Mailing lists 

We will hold your email address if you have told us you would like us send you copies of the AF&RS staff bulletin, together with information about forthcoming retirements, socials, bereavements, and general news which may be of interest to you. As these email addresses have been provided by you, it means you have consented to us contacting you for these purposes.

It will be kept until you either ask us to use a different email address, or you withdraw your consent as you would like us to stop sending you this, and we keep any email correspondence for the current financial year it was received in plus a further year.

If we are asked for your email address by someone else (a third party) we will either contact you to ask for your consent, or pass their details to you so you can decide whether you wish them to have it, unless we are required by law to give it to them.

The mailing list is separate to the one managed by the Avon Fire & Rescue Service Pensioners Association, although we can take your rights and expectations into account and share email addresses for legitimate reasons. 

There is a Privacy Notice for Members of the Avon Fire & Rescue Pensioners’ Association on their website

Please note we will also remove email addresses from the contact list if we are informed the person has died, although sometimes a next of kin may provide an alternative email address to stay in contact. Again, we would only continue this contact with consent.

Lawful basis

The majority of personal data we process will fall under the same lawful basis for that of our current employees, such as either with your consent, compliance with a legal obligation, to fulfil our public duties (public task) as a Fire & Rescue Service, or for legitimate interests.

The same will apply to the lawful processing for special category (sensitive personal) data, although the more common ones for former employees will be with explicit consent (expected to be written), or for the following:

  • obligations under employment law, social security or social protection,
  • establishing, exercising or defending a legal claim,
  • carrying out our public duties as a Fire & Rescue Service,
  • the purposes of preventative or occupational medicine when assessing your working capacity in the case of ill health retirement or medical claims.

There’s further information about special category data and processing on the Information Commissioner’s website

Storing information

Our Records Retention Schedule outlines how long we keep information and, for most data (such as a Personal Record File or PRF), this will normally be for the financial year the person left the Service plus the next 6 years. We may hold data for longer, for example Wellworker (Oshens) incident records because of Health & Safety legislation, or payroll data for pension administration purposes. IT and email accounts will be deleted after the person has left, unless there is a genuine business reason to keep any part for longer.

In some circumstances the information may be anonymised so that it can be used for statistics, in which case we may keep it without further notice. This is because it is no longer considered to be personal data, as nobody can be identified from it.

Any personal data will be disposed of securely in line with our Service Policies.

Who we might share information with, and why

We will disclose your information to third parties if we are legally obliged to do so, to comply with other Government departments and agencies, or if that third party is providing a service on our behalf e.g. payroll provision.

  • Some examples of who we may share with are:
  • Avon Fire & Rescue Service Pensioners’ Association,
  • Pension Scheme Trustees and Administrators,
  • Payroll providers,
  • Occupational Health providers and medical/health professionals,
  • Insurance providers,
  • Legal advisors on employment matters,
  • Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs (HMRC) for tax purposes,
  • Auditors,
  • Staff Welfare providers,
  • Statutory Organisations,
  • People asking for employment references,
  • Equalities monitoring organisations (normally statistical and anonymised),
  • Government Departments (normally statistical and anonymised),
  • National Fraud agencies,
  • Police & Fraud Officers – under our legal duty to ensure the protection and detection of crime. 

If we need to transfer your personal information outside the European Union, we will ensure it is given suitable protection.

Your Rights

There are exceptions, as with all legislation, which means you can exercise certain rights depending on the reason why we are processing your personal data. 

As a former employee, your right to object to processing does not apply where processing takes place under a Contract of Employment or where we are processing to fulfil a legal obligation (such as employment laws / tax laws, etc.).There is also no right to data erasure where processing is carried out on the basis of a legal obligation. If processing is only based on consent, you have the right to withdraw that consent at any time.

All requests to exercise your individual data rights will be reviewed on a case by case basis. 

Further information about your rights and how to exercise them is on the Information Commissioner’s website and on the AF&RS website

If you’d like further information or wish to exercise a right, please write to the AF&RS Data Protection Officer at the Service HQ address, or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Last reviewed 30/04/2020