Data Retention Policy and Schedule

Purpose of this policy

1. This policy applies to both Battersea Dogs & Cats Home and our trading company, Battersea Dogs Home Limited (together, “Battersea”).

2. This document sets out Battersea’s policy on how which types of records should be retained for certain periods of time.

Rules relating to the retention of records

3. There are some statutory requirements which prescribe how long certain types of records must be kept, and these are set out where relevant in this policy. However, in many cases there will not be any prescriptive statutory retention period, and deciding how long a particular record should be retained for requires Battersea to balance the possible need to have access to those records in the future, against the practical and legal requirement to maintain organised, relevant records which are not excessive.

4. Under the General Data Protection Regulation 2018 (GDPR), Battersea must not retain personal data for any longer than is necessary for the purposes for which the personal data is processed. There are no specific minimum periods set out in the GDPR for retaining personal data, but organisations must have the necessary processes in place to ensure that, once records containing personal data are no longer needed, they are destroyed securely, and are not simply retained indefinitely (unless Battersea has identified a clear and justifiable reason for doing so). This policy should therefore be read in conjunction with the Home’s Data Protection Policy.

Retention schedule

5. The retention periods set out in this policy are guidelines rather than absolute requirements (except where a specific statutory requirement is referenced), but the presumption is that at the end of the specified period, the record should be destroyed or archived as specified in the retention schedule, in accordance with any data disposal procedures set out in the Data Protection Policy and any other guidelines issued by Battersea from time to time (refer to the security procedures of the Data Protection Policy).

6. In some situations, it may be appropriate to continue to retain personal data even after the guideline retention period has expired (see the section below relating to legacies in particular). Situations such as where:

  • the record is relevant to legal action which has been started or is anticipated, in which case the record should be retained for at least the period in which a claim could be brought against Battersea. For most legal claims, the limitation period requires a claim to be brought within 6 years following the event in question, but where a claim of defamation is made, it must generally be brought within a year after publication;
  • a contractual obligation requires Battersea to retain the record; or
  • there is another good reason why it should be retained beyond the guideline retention period. If you believe this to be the case, you should email: dataprotection@battersea.org.uk.

7. If no retention period for a certain type of record is specified in this policy, you should seek guidance from your line manager and/or email: dataprotection@battersea.org.uk and ask on how long the record should be retained for.

8. At the expiry of the retention period, data will be anonymised, deleted or archived.

Records relating to legacies

9. Certain data may be kept for a longer period of time on the basis it may be necessary to evidence the individual’s relationship with Battersea in the event of dispute over a legacy. Such data will be kept securely and archived where necessary. The types of data that will be retained for this purpose are outlined in this policy.

Battersea is dependent on legacies, or gifts in Wills, for over one third of its total income. In 2017 Battersea received £14.7m from legacies.  Around 10% of the legacies we receive each year are subject to legal challenge, cases which in total account for around £1.5m of Battersea’s annual income.

Legal proceedings may arise through a Statutory Will application (where a Will is made by the Court on behalf of an individual who has lost capacity), a Probate challenge (normally on the basis that the individual did not have capacity at the time they made their Will) or a claim by a family member under the 1975 Provision for Families and Dependents Act (normally on the basis that the deceased failed to make reasonable financial provision for them in their Will). 

Having an appropriate record of a supporter’s giving pattern or re-homing history or involvement with the charity could be very important in assisting us to defend any legal challenge to a legacy that a supporter has chosen to leave us. It has, for instance, certainly been the case that the Courts have, in the recent past, taken a lack of connection between an individual and a charity as a reason for overturning a legacy to that charity where the legacy is challenged in Court by a family member.

RETENTION SCHEDULE

Contents

  1. Data pertaining to Supporters
  2. Data pertaining to staff and job applicants
  3. Data pertaining to volunteers and volunteer applicants
  4. Data pertaining to Governance, Accounting and Contracts

1. Data pertaining to Supporters

A “Supporter” is defined as any member of the public who interacts with Battersea, including but not limited to those who rehome an animal or apply to rehome an animal, gift an animal to Battersea, report a lost or found animal, donate, fundraise, participate in or attend an event, leave a legacy pledge or enquire about legacies, participate in a lottery or other fundraising product, purchase an item from Battersea’s shop, subscribe to, or engage with, Battersea’s marketing communications or engage with Battersea in an ambassador or celebrity supporter relationship (for the purpose of this schedule, “interactions”). For the purposes of this retention schedule, “Supporter” does not include Battersea staff, volunteers or applicants for staff or volunteer positions.

Depending on a Supporter’s interaction with Battersea, different types of data will be processed. The following retention periods apply to any data processed in the course of the Supporter’s interactions with Battersea.

Data type

Examples

Retention period

Rationale

Core Supporter information

  • Name

  • Record of your interactions with Battersea, such as donation history or rehoming, event attendance

  • Record of legacy pledges or enquiries

  • Important email correspondence (i.e. regarding legacy donations or grants)

  • Identifier (such as Raiser’s Edge ID or date of birth)

50 years from date of last interaction

To evidence the individual’s relationship with Battersea in the event of a dispute over a legacy.

Contact details 

  • Email

  • Phone number

  • Address

  • Contact preferences / marketing permissions

20 years from date of last interaction

Contacts details retained to allow Battersea to communicate with supporters regarding their interaction with Battersea, and to provide marketing communications in accordance with their marketing preferences.

Marketing preferences retained for the same period as contact details - to allow Battersea to respect an individual’s marketing preferences for the duration of time that their contact details are kept. (Except in instances where an individual has opted out of marketing or other processing activities, in which case these records are maintained indefinitely for the purposes of maintaining a suppression list.)

Information relating to a rehoming or intake case or enquiry

  • Living circumstances

  • Animal preferences

  • Animal data

20 years from date of enquiry or rehome / intake

The upper limit for the lifetime of an animal, allowing Battersea to support any queries following rehoming / intake and to maintain a record should there be any complaints to legal claims during the animal’s lifetime.

Marketing records, demographic records and any information provided as part of an interaction which does not fall into one of the other categories

  • Marketing email event data (i.e. emails received, emails opened)

  • Demographic data (i.e. used for market research purposes)

  • Detail provided within forms

  • Date of birth (where not used as an identifier)

  • Research responses

7 years from date of last interaction

To conduct analysis and segmentation to better understand Supporters and their interactions with Battersea. 

Financial information

  • Credit card details

  • Details of purchases made

7 years from date of transaction

To comply with a legal obligation to store financial transaction data.

Case studies, photography and film

  • Photographs

  • Footage

  • Stories provided for publicity purposes

7 years from date of last interaction regarding the case study

To enable Battersea to store and reference stories provided by supporters to be used in case studies published in press, marketing and other activity. Exceptions may apply for imagery and case studies considered to be in the public domain.

General email correspondence

  • Emails

  • Letters and cards

7 years from last interaction

To enable correspondence to be considered and responded to, and maintain a record should further action be required. 

Lost and found animal records

  • Animal data

  • Circumstances surrounding the loss / find

3 years from date of last interaction

To enable a lost or found dog to be matched with its owner. 

Community Engagement referral records

  • Dog owner records and referral records

3 years from form submission

To enable reference to be made to the referral should any queries arise.

Complaints

  • Details about the complaint

3 years from date of complaint

To enable the complaint to be considered and responded to, and maintain a record should further action be required

Online user accounts

  • Username and password

2 years from date of last log in

To allow users to log into their accounts to review existing purchases, favourite animals, rehoming applications.

Cookie data

  • Online identifiers

  • Device data

A maximum of 2 years from last website visit

To allow us to improve user experience on the website, measure performance, and to serve tailored advertising to our users’ interests. 

CCTV records

  • CCTV footage

31 days (or longer if  the video recording is being used as part of an investigation)

To help maintain site security and provide evidence for any possible investigations resulting from accidents. 

2. Data pertaining to Battersea staff and job applicants

Data type

Examples

Retention period

Rationale

Unsuccessful employee applicant records

  • Job application
  • Interview records

7 months after notifying the unsuccessful candidate

To enable communications with unsuccessful applicants and provide a record should there be any legal queries/legal action within the time limits allowed.

Employment records

  • Employment contracts
  • Changes to terms and conditions
  • Immigration documentation
  • Disciplinary records
  • Termination records (including dismissal and redundancy details and calculations)

7 years after employment has ceased

To respond to employment reference requests and to enable defence of any potential legal claims within time limits allowed.

Immigration checks

  • Details of immigration checks

7 years after employment has ceased

The Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006 requires that immigration checks are kept for at least 2 years, but Battersea’s policy is to keep them as part of other employee records in case of any future queries on an individual’s immigration status.

Wages and salary records (including overtime)

  • Details of wages and salary

7 years after employment has ceased

Schedule 18, para. 21, Finance Act 1998 requires these be kept for at least 6 years from the end of the relevant financial year, but Battersea’s policy is to keep them as part of other employee records in case of future queries.

Payroll documentation

  • PAYE
  • P45, P6, P60, P11D
  • Records of pension deductions
  • All other payroll records
  • Records of hours worked, and payments made to workers

7 years from the end of the relevant financial year

Companies Act 2006/Income Tax Regulations 2003/Taxes Management Act 1970 require a statutory retention period of six years

s. 9 National Minimum Wage Act 1998, Regulation 59, National Minimum Wage Regulations 2015 (which require that records of hours worked be kept for at least three years following the pay reference period).

Statutory Maternity, Paternity and Shared Parental Leave records

  • Records of Statutory Maternity, Paternity and Shared Parental Leave
  • Calculations
  • Medical evidence

7 years after employment has ceased

Regulation 26, Statutory Maternity Pay (General) Regulations 1986 requires that these records are kept for Three years after the end of the tax year in which the leave period ends but Battersea’s policy is to keep them as part of other employee records in case of any future queries

Unspent criminal convictions and DBS records (staff and volunteers)

  • Records of unspent criminal convictions
  • Record that the DBS check has been requested
  • Record that Battersea has sighted the DBS check

7 years after employment has ceased

In accordance with Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974

 

To maintain a record of compliance with Safeguarding regulations.

Parental leave

  • Parental leave details

18 years from birth / adoption of child or 7 years after employment has ceased

In line with regulations and to enable defence of any potential legal claims within time limits allowed.

Sickness records

  • Statutory sick pay records
  • Calculations
  • Certificates
  • Self-certificates

7 years after employment has ceased

In accordance with the Statutory Sick Pay (General) Regulations 1982.

Life Assurance expression of wish forms

  • Details of Life Assurance expressions of wish forms

7 years after employment has ceased or death during employment

To enable defence of any potential legal claims within time limits allowed.

Defined Benefit pension scheme records (current members)

  • Details regarding current members

7 years after final settlement of benefit

To maintain a basic record of members of the pension scheme and to enable a reference point for queries.

Defined Benefit pension scheme (next of kin/ expression of wish forms)

  • Next of kin details
  • Expression of wish forms

7 years after date of death of member

To facilitate next of kin / expression of wish compliance.

Defined Benefit pension scheme (constitutional documents)

  • All trust deeds and rules
  • Trustees’ minute book
  • Actuarial reports
  • Details of pensions

For the life of the scheme until it is wound up following payment of the final benefit

In accordance with the Pensions Act 1995.

3. Data pertaining to Battersea volunteers and volunteer applicants

Data type

Examples

Retention period

Rationale

Volunteer records

  • Contact details
  • Application form details
  • Interview records
  • Training details
  • Communications regarding role

For the duration of a volunteer’s role and 7 years from the date volunteering ceases.

To provide references for volunteers when requested and to enable any communications required after volunteering work has ended.

DBS records

  • Record that the DBS check has been requested
  • Record that Battersea has sighted the DBS check

For the duration of a volunteer’s role and 7 years from the date volunteering ceases.

To maintain a record of compliance with Safeguarding regulations.

Unsuccessful volunteer applicant records

  • Volunteer application
  • Interview records

7 months after notifying the unsuccessful candidate

To facilitate the volunteer selection process, to enable communication and to provide a record should there be any queries.

4. Data pertaining to Governance, Accounting and Contracts

Data type

Examples

Retention period

Rationale

Governance documentation

  • Board minutes of meetings and decisions
  • Annual accounts and reports
  • Major agreements of significance to Battersea, i.e. important grant agreements
  • Investment certificates and records

Permanently

S. 248 Companies Act 2006 requires these to be kept for at least ten years from the date of the meeting or decision, but the Home’s policy is to keep these records permanently.

Contracts and other agreements with suppliers or agents

  • Contracts
  • Licensing agreements
  • Rental / hire purchase agreements
  • Indemnities and guarantees
  • Other major agreements or contracts (which are not major agreements of significance to Battersea)

7 years after expiry or termination of the contract; or 12 years if the contract is executed as a deed.

Limitations Act 1980

Bank records

 

7 years from end of financial year in which a transaction was made.

Companies Act 2006 / Charities Act / HMRC.

Remittance advices

 

7 years from the end of the relevant financial year.

Companies Act 2006 / Taxes Management Act 1970 / HMRC.

Receipts cash book

 

7 years from the end of the relevant financial year.

Companies Act 2006/Taxes Management Act 1970/HMRC

Companies Act 2006 / Charities Act / HMRC

Sales ledger

 

7 years from the end of the relevant financial year.

Companies Act 2006 / Charities Act / HMRC

Company records

  • Annual accounts
  • Investment and insurance policy records

 

Indefinitely

Companies Act 2006

Deeds of covenant / Gift Aid declarations

 

7 years from the date of last payment; 12 years from date of last payment if payment outstanding or dispute regarding the deed; permanently in the case of an ongoing gift.

HMRC

Legacy information

  • Bequests
  • Planned gift details

As long as necessary to administer the legacy but archived after 12 years.

To protect Battersea in the event of a claim. Maximum liability period is 12 years.

Purchase invoices and supplier documentation

  • Payments made cash book or record of payments made
  • Purchase ledger
  • Invoices
  • Petty cash records

7 years from the end of the relevant financial year.

Companies act and HMRC.

 

Insurance documents

  • Policies

3 years after lapse.

To maintain a record of insurance policies should any reference be required.

Insurance documents

  • Claims correspondence

3 years after settlement.

Data needs to be retained in case of appeal.

Insurance documents

  • Employer’s liability insurance records (certificate and policy documents)

Permanently

To maintain proof of liability insurance cover for Battersea Dogs & Cats home and Battersea Dogs’ home Ltd.

Accident reports and relevant correspondence

 

At least 3 years after the report was made.

Sch. 1, Part II, Reporting of Injuries, Diseases, and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013