Data protection for employees under German law

Sec. 26 BDSG permits the processing of personal data of employees, if it is necessary for employment-related purposes, e.g., hiring decisions, after hiring, or for carrying out or terminating the employment contract.

Consent of employees

Sec 26 (2) (BDSG) stipulates that the assessment of the voluntary nature of the consent of employees must take into account, in particular, the dependence on the employment relationship and the circumstances under which consent was granted. Voluntariness exists, in particular, when an economic or legal advantage is achieved for employees, or when employers and employees pursue similar interests, such as work safety. Consent must be in writing or electronically, but it does not require a signature.

Processing of special categories of employee personal data

Sec. 22 (1) no. 1b) BDSG allows for processing of special categories of employee data, if it is necessary (1) to exercise the rights derived from the right of social security and social protection and (2) for the purposes of preventive medicine or the assessment of the working capacity of the employee.

Further regulations

Further specific regulations and decisions of German courts are relevant for compliance with German data protection.

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