Visit our website at www.area5.co.uk to learn more about us. ZA232221, Registration Number with the Information Commissioner’s Office, is what identifies us. The IASME Cyber Essentials Scheme has accredited us for data safety.
We are dedicated to safeguarding and preserving the privacy of all information entrusted to us. We will only use your data in a way that is reasonable in light of the circumstances surrounding its acquisition. We don’t do any profiling or automated processing. Client confidentiality is a shared responsibility across all members of our team.
Using information about individuals in our practise is described in this policy, together with the legal basis for processing personal data and the circumstances under which we may need to share it with others. Additionally, it outlines your rights if you have any reservations about how your personal data is being used.
OUR STATUS UNDER DATA PROTECTION LAWS
If you are our client or a professional contact, we are most likely the ‘data controller’ for your personal information. In this case, Cafcass is the data controller and we operate as their ‘data processor,’ referring you to our Separated Parents Information Programme.
INFORMATION WE COLLECT FROM YOU AND WHY
Your contact details
For example, if you schedule a Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting (‘MIAM’) or fill out a referral form on our website, or call us, write us, or email us about an upcoming meeting, we’ll have information like your name and contact information. We may also get this info when your solicitors or another organisation that you’re familiar with (such as Cafcass) asks us to get in touch with you about a meeting.
Our vendors and contractors’ representatives also have their names and contact information stored in our system. In order to effectively deliver our services and communicate with them, we do this. It’s in our legitimate commercial interests to do so.
Other personal data
The information we need from you to deliver our MIAM or mediation services usually includes a lot of details about your family, money, and relationship—including the circumstances leading up to its breakdown. To be more precise:
- Identify your current or previous partner, and any children you may have had together or have raised as a family unit together must be established.
- A mediation may also necessitate the disclosure of’special categories’ of sensitive personal data, such as information on your physical or mental health, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, racial or ethnic origin or criminal convictions, by some clients.
- If you want a child consultation, the child consultant may take notes for the follow-up visit with your child or kids. Once the parent feedback meeting has taken place, these will be disposed of.
- Your proof of earnings and assets must be retained if you qualify for Legal Aid.
- Some of your personal information may be used to invoice you if you are accountable for our fees. Our fees will be paid by the Legal Aid Agency if you are receiving legal aid. If you are not, we will need to share your information with them.
Personal information you provide to a mediator in an MIAM or mediation is not disclosed with the opposing party unless you authorise, a court mandates it, or the law requires it.
You must provide financial or other facts relevant to your position to us and the other party as part of the mediation process. In financial mediation, you will have to reveal financial information to us and the other party. (When we perform shuttle mediations with you and the other party in different rooms, we disclose any financial or other relevant data you provide with the other party.)
We need to gather this information to properly perform and document our services under the regulations governing Legal Aid, family mediation, SPIPs, and our mediators’ standards of conduct. We use the data to produce a ‘memorandum of understanding’ and a ‘open financial statement’ that may be used to support a separation agreement or a consent order granted by the Family Court.
The lawful basis for processing personal data is that it’s required to carry out our contract with you if you’re an MIAM or mediation client (or at your request prior to entering into a contract with us).
To provide this service in the public interest to SPIPs customers, we process their data when a court has ordered them to attend the programme.
Special types of data are processed on the legal basis that it is required for ongoing or future legal actions. Racial/ethnic origin data may be gathered to keep track of and make improvements to the provision of services to people of all backgrounds.
We may use your contact information to write to you after your partner or ex partner attends an MIAM with us, even if you haven’t contacted us directly about our MIAM and mediation services on your own behalf. Because we are required by Practice Direction 3A of the Family Procedure Rules to contact you to discuss your desire to attend an MIAM as well, this is the reason (and the legal basis for us processing your personal data for this purpose).
For some uses of information, we will need your express consent, which we can acquire at any time without impacting the lawfulness of processing done prior to your withdrawal. Nevertheless, withdrawing your agreement will not override any ongoing responsibility we may have to alert the authorities in line with our Safeguarding Policy for the protection of vulnerable people. It’s important to know, however, that the legal basis on which we handle data generally do not rely on your explicit consent.
Family Matters Mediation serves as a training ground for aspiring mediators. There is a strong obligation of secrecy imposed on our trainee mediators. They are only allowed to use the material in our files for personal growth and learning. If they keep a journal of their training, it must be anonymous so that no one can link it to a specific person. Our legitimate business interests serve as the legal basis for processing data in this case..
Our case management database, which is kept on a dedicated secure server, may need to be shared or stored with other organisations in the UK for operational reasons. We may also be required to disclose some of your information for legal or contractual reasons. These points are enumerated towards the conclusion of this document. This has legal justification since it serves our legitimate commercial objectives.
Some data from services supplied to customers may be used to monitor our performance, e.g. through a customer satisfaction survey, but the findings will be anonymized. Data privacy rules enable us to do this since it’s in our best interest to know and serve our customers better.
A database of persons who have attended or shown an interest in our professional training events, or who we feel would be interested in receiving invites, is used for direct marketing of such events. The database includes contact information and attendance records. Because it is in our legitimate business interest to handle this data, it is lawful for us to keep their contact information. To let individuals know they may opt-out at any moment, we include a notice in our event invites reminding them that their information will be deleted.
For those who prefer an online meeting over a face-to-face encounter we will have to employ a third-party service provider like Zoom or Microsoft Teams.. The use of your data by any third-party service provider is completely out of Area5’s control and responsibility. For more information on the privacy policies of specific service providers, check out their websites.
HOW LONG WE KEEP YOUR INFORMATION FOR
After the matter is over, all of our MIAM and mediation records will be destroyed. After then, our records are typically kept for a period of six and a half years before being destroyed. After one fiscal year, we erase the contact information of clients given to us by Cafcass for SPIPs.
We keep professional training event attendees’ contact information on file until they tell us they no longer want to hear from us. Information about our suppliers and contractors is kept for the duration of their employment and subsequently for the time period required by Inland Revenue laws for tax records.
YOUR RIGHT TO ACCESS INFORMATION
Data subject access requests are legal requests that provide you access to information that has been collected on you. You can make a written request using the contact information above. Before providing you with any personal information, we may ask for further information to verify your identity.
YOUR RIGHT TO CORRECT DATA WE HOLD
If any information about you is incorrect, you have the right to ask for it to be rectified. Our goal is to make sure that all of your information is correct and up-to-date. You have the right to request that we update or rectify our records if you believe the information in them is incorrect. Changes to your information can be requested by contacting us at the above-mentioned addresses.
YOUR RIGHT TO REQUEST THAT WE REDUCE OR REMOVE YOUR PERSONAL INFORMATION FROM OUR LISTS
If you have any complaints about the way we handle your personal information, we want to make sure they get addressed as quickly as possible under our Complaints Policy. You do, however, have the right to officially request that we erase or restrict the processing of your personal data, and we must then either comply with your request or explain why we believe our actions are reasonable. The Information Commissioner’s Office website is https://www.area5.co.uk/ or phone their hotline at 077 8000 4633 for further information.
If you have any issues about how we gather or utilise information, please let us know and we will look into it. Please obtain a copy of our Complaints Policy if you don’t already have one. Alternatively, you may contact the Information Commissioner’s Office (see http://www.area5.co.uk/for-the-public/raising-concerns/) or phone their hotline at 077 8000 4633 if your complaint isn’t being addressed internally.