Covid-19: Can employers process information about whether workers are infected with the coronavirus? (Spain)
Covid-19: In the context of the emergency health program implemented to face the spread of the COVID 19 coronavirus, the Spanish Data Protection Agency, is receiving queries on the processing of personal data related to health.
One of the FAQs is this one: Can employers process information about whether workers are infected with the coronavirus?
The Spanish Data Protection Agency (AEPD, in Spanish) answers the following:
In application of the current legal provisions relating to health, labour and, in particular, those relating to occupational health and safety, employers may obtain, according with said regulations and with the guarantees therein established, the personal data necessary to guarantee your health and to allow the competent authorities taking the necessary measures to ensure the right to protection of the health of the rest of the staff and to avoid contagions within the company and/or their work centres, that can spread the disease to the entire population.
The company will be able to know if the worker is infected or not, to design through its occupational health service the contingency plans that are dealt to be necessary, or that have been foreseen by the health authorities.
This information can also be obtained by asking staff some specific questions.
Warning for companies
However, questions should be limited exclusively to inquiring about the existence of symptoms, or if the worker has been diagnosed as coronavirus COVID 19 infected, or subject to quarantine.
Circulating extensive and detailed health questionnaires, or including questions not related to the disease would be contrary to the principle of data minimization.