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P5 In this task I will speak about the legal and ethical issues in relation to the use of business information in Waitrose which is part of the John Lewis Partnership.

Laws: 1. The Data Protection Act 1998 The Data Protection Act controls how your personal information is used by organisations, businesses or the government. Everyone who is responsible for using data has to follow strict rules called ‘data protection principles’. They must make sure the information is: • used fairly and lawfully • used for limited, specifically stated purposes • used in a way that is adequate, relevant and not excessive • accurate • kept for no longer than is absolutely necessary • handled according to people’s data protection rights • kept safe and secure • not transferred outside the UK without adequate protection There is stronger legal protection for more sensitive information, such as: • ethnic background • political opinions • religious beliefs • health • sexual health • criminal records Waitrose use the data protection act when handling staff information for example they are forbidden to share any staff information with anyone outside the John Lewis Partnership. Waitrose keep all personal information as confidential and keep it on a secure server. Staff have the right to request a copy of any information about them that Waitrose hold at any time, and also allowed to have that information corrected if it is incorrect. This is all part of the Data Protection Act.

The Freedom of Information Act 2000 The freedom of information act provides access to information held by public authorities. It does this in two ways:


Public authorities are obliged to publish certain information about their activities


And members of the public are entitled to request information from public authorities.

The Act covers any recorded information that is held by a public authority in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Although public authorities include government departments, local authorities, the NHS, state schools and police forces the Act does not necessarily cover every organisation that receives public money. For example, it does not cover some charities that receive grants and certain private sector organisations that perform public functions. Recorded information includes printed documents, computer files, letters, emails, photographs, and sound or video recordings. The Act does not give people access to their own personal data (information about themselves) such as their health records or credit reference file. If a member of the public wants to see information that a public authority holds about them, they should make a subject access request under the Data Protection Act 1998 hidecookiesbanner=true The freedom of information act gives individuals or organisations with the right to request information held by a public authority. The public authority is obliged to tell the applicant whether it holds the information and if it does it must be supplied within 20 working days in the requested format.

Computer Misuse Act 1990 An Act to make provision for securing computer material against unauthorised access or modification; and for connected purposes. [29th June 1990] Just like any other company Waitrose must follow a certain criteria when using computers, any personal information must be encrypted to avoid being accessed or modified by unauthorised people, If they fail to do so they have broken a law and will suffer the consequences.

Ethical Issues: Code Of Practise Whistleblowing: if somebody whistle blows within a company this means they are raising concern about a business practise, this could be from a management in the company to the press (newspapers and news reporters). This concern could relate to any fraud, crime, danger or any serious risk that could impact on customers.

Use of email: many organisations today have a code of practise on the correct use of email just like Waitrose has. Emailing can only be used as a memo, so it has to be short and to the point. You can

use your email to remind people about meetings or other work related issues but you’re not allowed to use it to send paper work or any important documents or attachments.

Use of internet: just like Waitrose, many other companies have codes of practise on the use of the internet and what their employees can and can’t use the internet for. There are also codes of practise which govern selling on the internet, which many business adhere to. (Ref: Business Book 1: Level 3) Waitrose have a fair amount of fair trade products and ingredients: ay/fairtrade.html.html Because Waitrose fair-trade this means that the producers of these products were paid fairly and treated well by their employers.

The fair-trade logo: If you see the fair-trade logo that indicates that the product has met a specific criteria in the way it was produced and traded.

Health and Safety in Waitrose: Health and safety is very important when working within a business, it is very unlikely that the computer equipment will be dangerous in itself but it can be used in ways that can be a hazard to health of staff. It is essential that employers carry out a regular workstation assessment to make sure that computer screens are at level and that the right chairs are being used. If employees suffer from things such as RSI (repetitive strain injury) then they may be provided with special (ergonomic) equipment which is designed to help reduce the risk of injury.

Health and Safety Law Broken: Waitrose got fined after a 17 year old got his arm crushed in a machine during work. They had to pay the fine because when an employee joins a company they are promised health and safety therefore if anything happens to a person on their work ground the company must pay compensation.


In conclusion we have learnt about the strict laws within a business and that there are consequences if they are not followed, when using the internet in a business you must be very careful because it is important that documents are not accessible and Health and Safety rules must be followed to avoid injuries and law suits.

Bibliography: hidecookiesbanner=true ay/fairtrade.html.html