Data privacy in employee scheduling – what you need to consider


Rosters and the underlying data contain a lot of personal information about your employees. It is therefore hardly a surprise that they are also subject to the European General Data Protection Regulation.

What is the GDPR?

The General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR, has been the basis for the general data protection law in Austria since May 25, 2018, where it has been extended by the Austrian Data Protection Act.  The regulation governs how personal data must be processed and protected. For example, the disclosure of personal data to third parties, which also includes other in-house employees, is only permitted with the consent of the employee. 

Is it allowed to display the whole roster to all employees?

In many companies it is common practice to make the current duty roster available to all employees in printed form. In addition to individual duty times, these may also include absences due to illness, further training and vacation days, as well as personal data such as the individual’s birthday or certain qualifications – and that’ s exactly the problem.

In general, only the company and the particular employee may have access to such personal data. If you as an employer want to publicly post rosters, you must therefore obtain the explicit permission of the employee as stated in the employment contract or a separate data processing agreement. According to the GDPR, personal data such as overtime, vacation or personal address may not be published even within the company without the consent of the respective employee. However, it must be noted that this permission does not allow other employees to copy or photograph the duty roster.

Since duty rosters may only be posted with explicit permission in rooms that are not accessible to persons from outside the company, digital rosters are becoming increasingly popular. Employees only have access to their own shifts and absences and can automatically submit requests for swaps or time off without any additional effort.

Sheepblue is a software for intelligent employee scheduling. In compliance with all data protection regulations, Sheepblue directly sends the individual duty roster to the employee’s smartphone. Through the application, employee requests can be made and matched automatically – ensuring increased efficiency and flexibility in the scheduling process.

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