Privacy policy

At Citizens Advice we collect and use your personal information to help solve your problems, improve our services and tackle wider issues in society that affect people’s lives.  We only ask for the information we need. We always let you decide what you’re comfortable telling us, explain why we need it and treat it as confidential.

Coronavirus: Test and Trace if you get advice in person

If you get advice in person we’ll ask for your:

  • name
  • email address or telephone number

We’ll keep this information in our secure case management system.

We might be asked to share your name, contact details and the date of your visit with Test and Trace or local public health organisations.  This is to help track cases of coronavirus.  They might contact you if they think you’re at risk after your visit. For example because someone getting advice at the same time has tested positive for coronavirus. You can find out more about Test and Trace in England on GOV.UK or Test and Trace in Wales on GOV.WALES.

We’ll never share information about the reason for your visit.

If you can’t give contact details, for example if it’s not safe for you to do so, we’ll still be able to give you advice in person.

Unlike most situations, we won’t ask for your consent before we share your contact details. If you don’t want us to share this information you can tell your local office you want to opt out.

We’re doing this to help keep you and the public safe. This is a ‘legitimate interest’ of Citizens Advice.

We won’t share your contact details with anyone other than Test and Trace or a local public health organisation.

If we share your information we’ll let you know, and offer further support.

If you want to know more about changes to our face to face services or how your information will be used, please contact us.

When we record and use your information we:

  • only access it when we have a good reason
  • only share what is necessary and relevant
  • don’t sell it to anyone

We collect and use the details you give us so we can help you. We have a ‘legitimate interest’ to do this under data protection law. This means it lets us carry out our aims and goals as an organisation. We’ll always explain how we use your information.

At times we might use or share your information without your permission. If we do, we’ll always make sure there’s a legal basis for it. This could include situations where we have to use or share your information:

● to comply with the law – for example, if a court orders us to share information. This is called ‘legal obligation’

● to protect someone’s life – for example, sharing information with a paramedic if a client was unwell at our office. This is called ‘vital interests’

● to carry out our legitimate aims and goals as a charity – for example, to create statistics for our national research. This is called ‘legitimate interests’

● for us to carry out a task where we’re meeting the aims of a public body in the public interest – for example, delivering a government or local authority service. This is called ‘public task’

● to carry out a contract we have with you – for example, if you’re an employee we might need to store your bank details so we can pay you. This is called ‘contract’

● to defend our legal rights – for example, sharing information with our legal advisors if there was a complaint that we gave the wrong advice

We handle and store your personal information in line with the law – including the General Data Protection Regulation.

You can check our main Citizens Advice policy for how we handle most of your personal information.
This page covers how we, as your local charity, handle your information locally in our offices.

How Citizens Advice Esher & District collect your data

The main Citizens Advice policy sets out how we handle most of your personal information.

 In addition at our office we collect personal data in the following ways:

When you use our website

When you use our website, we collect your information in a number of ways.

We use data called ‘cookies’ to get information about how you’re using our website – for example, what pages you click on and what device you’re using. Find out more how we collect and use cookies when you browse our website.

If you use the web-form on our site to contact us for advice, we will ask you for your name, address, email and telephone number.  By using the web-form you are giving your consent for us to process and use this personal information.  The information is sent direct to our email system.  No data is stored on the website.

If you make an online donation you will be transferred to the CAF (Charities Aid Foundation) website for your donation to be processed securely.  The CAF Privacy policy can be found here. We do not store your debit or credit card details at all.

When you email us

By emailing us for advice you are giving us your consent to process and use your personal information unless you indicate clearly otherwise.  Your emails to us are stored within our office email system.  Transcripts are copied into the secure case management system and the emails are then deleted after six months.

When you call us

If you call us for advice, our advisers will explain how we use your details and ask for your consent to record and store your personal information.

When you text us

If you use our dedicated SMS number to text us a short message, a transcript of your message will be copied into the secure case management system and the text will then be deleted.

When you attend our Financial Advice Clinic

When you are given an appointment at our monthly Financial Advice Clinic, we will ask for your permission to share your information securely with our independent financial adviser and, in addition, ask you to complete a detailed financial questionnaire for the independent financial adviser.  This is to help the adviser provide you with comprehensive generic financial advice during your appointment.  Our independent financial adviser has had data protection training to make sure your information is handled sensitively and securely.  A record of your problem will be kept on our secure case management system.

When you support us

If you support us by becoming a Member of our charity (‘Bureau Member’) or by joining our 200 Club to make regular donations, we will usually collect:

  • Your name
    Your contact details
    Your bank details.

We will use your data to:

  • Administer your membership
    Process your donation
    Where appropriate, process your Gift Aid
    Keep a record of your relationship with us

In these cases, we are using our ‘legitimate interest’ basis as a charity to use your personal data. Your information will be stored securely in our office and our internal IT system.  Your details will be deleted securely when your membership ends.  Gift Aid records will be shared with HMRC and held securely in our office for six years.

We will only contact you with news about our campaigns and fundraising events by post, phone, email or text message, if you have agreed for us to contact you in this manner.

You can update your choices or stop us sending you these communications at any time by contacting us at the address at the end of this privacy policy.

Job & volunteer applicants

If you apply to work or volunteer with us, we collect your personal information through your application form, interview or references so we can process your application.

If you’re offered a role, where applicable, we may ask you to to fill out a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) form as part of mandatory background checks. A DBS form does ask for some personal information as part of the background check process. Once checked in our office for the purpose of verifying your identity, your form will be sent to head office where it will be stored and processed securely and confidentially by Citizens Advice and DBS. You can read more about DBS checks and processes on the GOV.UK website.

Other than the DBS, we don’t share your information with external organisations – it’s only shared internally so that we can review your application.

 We only ask for information which is relevant to the role you’re applying for.  We’ll collect personal details such as name, address, telephone number and email address, previous job history and experience, qualifications, and any support needs you may have.

We’ll also ask for diversity information like your gender, ethnicity and sexual orientation. You don’t have to tell us this – if you do, it’s always anonymised.

We might collect other information depending on whether you’ve applied for a staff or volunteer role.
We’ll use the information you give us to decide whether or not you’ve got the right skills for the role. We’ll use the demographic information to make sure we’re employing a diverse workforce and volunteer community. Staff who access your information have had information protection training to make sure your information is handled sensitively and securely.

We keep your information securely on our internal systems.  If your application is unsuccessful, your information will be securely destroyed twelve months from the date of the job advertisement.

What Citizens Advice Esher & District ask for

To find out what information we ask for, see our national Citizens Advice privacy policy

How Citizens Advice Esher & District use your information

To find out how we use your information, see our national Citizens Advice privacy policy

Working on your behalf

When you give us authority to act on your behalf, for example to help you with a Universal Credit claim, we’ll need to share information with that third party.

Organisations we commonly share information with include Elmbridge Borough Council, Surrey County Council, PA Housing, Crown Simmons Housing and government departments including the DWP and HMRC.

How Citizens Advice Esher & District store your information

Outside of the national Citizens Advice secure case management system, other information is kept on our secure internal IT email and systems.  All staff and volunteers who access your data have had data protection training to make sure your information is handled sensitively and securely.

How Citizens Advice Esher & District share your information

Where we share your information with other organisations as part of casework we will always ask for your authority to do so and will use the most secure means possible. Organisations we share your data with must store and use it in line with data protection law.
Sometimes our funders ask us to share statistics and example case studies to demonstrate how we are meeting our aims and goals as a charity, or as a funding requirement.   In these instances, all personal information will be anonymised.

Contact Citizens Advice Esher & District about your information

If you have any questions about how your information is collected or used, you can contact our office.

Citizens Advice Esher & District
Harry Fletcher House
High Street
KT10 9RN

Telephone: 01372 464770

 You can contact us to:
● find out what personal information we hold about you
● correct your information if it’s wrong, out of date or incomplete
● request we delete your information
● ask us to limit what we do with your data – for example, ask us not to share it if you haven’t asked us already
● ask us to give you a copy of the data we hold in a format you can use to transfer it to another service
● ask us stop using your information

Who’s responsible for looking after your personal information

The national Citizens Advice charity and your local Citizens Advice operate a system called Casebook to keep your personal information safe. This means they’re a ‘joint data controller’ for your personal information that’s stored in our Casebook system.

Each local Citizens Advice is an independent charity, and a member of the national Citizens Advice charity. The Citizens Advice membership agreement also requires that the use of your information complies with data protection law.

You can find out more about your data rights on the Information Commissioner’s website.

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