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What is POPI? Six functions of POPI and its effect on Human Resources

by , 05 May 2015
Employees are protected by several acts and amendments. One of the acts refers to the processing of personal data of your employees. As an employer, you have to make sure you don't risk any finea from the DoL inspection on this subject!

POPI: The Protection of Personal information Act and how it refers to your employees

If you don't comply with POPI, you could receive a fine of up to R10 million and a prison sentence. Your company could also face civil actions.

Note that your organisation is the responsible party when it comes to the personal information of your employees. This because you define what you need the information for and how you collect and process it.

So let's look at why POPI is in place…

Here are the six functions of POPI

1. Controls all measures and actions when it comes to processing of personal information. From collection, recording, distributing and destroying it.

2. The Act limits who can capture people's information. Only a responsible person can do this. Or you can appoint an operator on your behalf.

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3. POPI also restricts who owns the data. The information is personal and belongs to the employee.

4. POPI creates certain rights and obligations. These are very important and you must understand all these rights and obligations to make sure you're 100% compliant. And avoid steep fines and possible jail time.

5. Make sure any process, policies etc. that have to do with any type of personal information complies with the Act.

6. Make sure no one can identify a person from the information you collect.

It is recommended you appoint someone in the company to be responsible, along with your operators, to capture and store employee data. This person can be the CEO, but it's better to appoint someone specific to the task

Someone in Human Resources would be ideal. If you've appointed an Information Officer in terms of the Access to Information Act, then he's perfect for the position. Whoever you choose must register with the Regulator.

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