Should an agreement on the processing of personal data be concluded with a temporary employment agency?

Table of contents:

  1. Who’s Who – the Status of Parties in a Temporary Employment Agency Agreement
  2. The Role of the User Employer Regarding Temporary Workers’ Data
  3. To Delegate or Not to Delegate – That is the Question
  4. Conclusion: Entering into a Data Processing Agreement Always Requires Case-Specific Analysis

In recent years, temporary employment agencies have become significant players in the labor market, offering employers flexibility in hiring staff. However, in the context of personal data protection, the question arises whether user employers should enter into data processing agreements when working with temporary employment agencies. To answer this question, it’s worth analyzing the specifics of the relationship between agencies and user employers, as well as the legal regulations concerning data protection.

Who’s Who – the Status of Parties in a Temporary Employment Agency Agreement

Temporary employment agencies act as intermediaries between workers and user employers. On one hand, they recruit and employ temporary workers, and on the other hand, they send them to work for various user employers. In this model, agencies become data controllers of temporary workers’ personal data, processing their data to fulfill temporary employment contracts. However, when a temporary worker is assigned to work for a user employer, questions arise regarding the user employer’s role in personal data processing.

The Role of the User Employer Regarding Temporary Workers’ Data

It’s important to understand that there’s a divergence regarding the user employer’s role in processing temporary workers’ personal data. Traditionally, it was assumed that the user employer acts as a data processor, while the temporary employment agency acts as the data controller. However, practical scenarios show that there are situations where the user employer independently determines the purposes and methods of data processing, potentially qualifying as a data controller.

For example, if a user employer conducts occupational health and safety training, prepares accident reports, or establishes work schedules for temporary workers, it may be considered a data controller. Conversely, when a user employer acts at the direction of the temporary employment agency, such as providing data for recruitment purposes or internal agency records, it operates as a data processor.

To Delegate or Not to Delegate – That is the Question

In light of the above, should a data processing agreement be concluded with a temporary employment agency? The answer is not straightforward and depends on the specific context of the relationship between the agency and the user employer. It’s crucial for entities to clearly define their roles and responsibilities in the processing of temporary workers’ personal data. It’s also essential to consider the stance of supervisory authorities, which emphasize the necessity of entering into data processing agreements in appropriate circumstances.

Conclusion: Entering into a Data Processing Agreement Always Requires Case-Specific Analysis

In summary, collaborating with a temporary employment agency necessitates a thorough analysis of issues related to the processing of temporary workers’ personal data. Practical examples and specific considerations regarding the dual role of the user employer as both a data controller and data processor are crucial for a proper understanding of existing data protection regulations. Clear delineation of roles and responsibilities of each party is necessary to ensure compliance with applicable laws.