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ICO Guidance: Sharing Data in Mental Health Emergencies at Work

View profile for Sally Morris
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On 1st March 2024, the ICO published new guidance for employers on sharing personal data during workplace mental health emergencies.

The ICO acknowledged that employers may need to share personal information about employees’ health to emergency services and health professionals to mitigate against the risk of serious harm to a worker or to others. 

The guidance helpfully confirms that an employer will not be in breach of data protection for sharing a worker’s personal information with their next of kin or emergency contact, but care has to be taken to determine what level of information is shared. 

The guidance encourages employers to plan for a suspected mental health emergency of a worker by considering the following:-

  1. Developing a Policy on personal data sharing for mental health emergencies.  The Policy should include details of the type of information involved, who may share the information, and the security measures in place to protect the information. 
  2. Ensure that workers next of kin and emergency contacts are kept up to date through regular reviews.  If appropriate, allow workers to provide separate emergency contacts for general emergencies to those in relation to mental health emergencies.
  3. Identify the correct lawful basis for processing and sharing personal data in circumstances where a mental health emergency occurs. 

A link to the guidance is below. 

Information sharing in mental health emergencies at work ICO

Should you need to seek advice on these matters then please contact Sally Morris on