Header Home

Data protection in shift planning - is posting a shift plan permitted?

In many companies, it is common practice to display the duty roster publicly, i.e. for all employees to see. However, data protection must also be taken into account here!

Data protection and shift planning

Data protection is an issue that has become increasingly important for companies, but also for private individuals, in recent years. The more we use the internet and disclose our personal data, the more important it is to handle this data sensitively. But what do data protection and shift planning have to do with each other? Is the shift schedule even a document that falls under data protection? We want to clarify this today.

Shift schedule prohibited?

In many companies, it is common practice to display the duty roster publicly, i.e. for all employees to see. This can be done in a meeting room or recreation room, for example, or on a notice board. However, some companies now refrain from publishing rosters in this way for data protection reasons.

This can be particularly problematic for employees if, for example, shift swaps and vacation planning or the recording of (over)hours via the posted duty roster had been working until then. In addition, employees are often no longer permitted to copy or photograph the shift plan.

round visualround visual

Would you like to see how shyftplan can help you with shift planning and your data protection challenges?

Personal data in the duty roster

Does the Federal Data Protection Act apply when it comes to the duty roster? Is it expressly forbidden to publicly display, copy or photograph a duty roster in the company? The Federal Data Protection Act regulates the handling of personal data and implements the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in Germany. According to §4BDSG, every citizen has the right to decide for themselves to whom they disclose their personal data and how or when it can be used. Fines of up to 50,000 euros can be imposed for violations of this data protection provision.

Personal data in the duty roster

In principle, the duty roster is one of the documents that contain personal data. This data includes, among other things, the real name, address and date of birth, as well as working hours, vacation and sick days and overtime. This data may not simply be published within a company. If someone has bad intentions, this data could be used against the employees concerned. This ranges from disagreements in the team regarding overtime or vacation days of certain employees to information that employee Mustermann will soon be on vacation for 3 weeks and his apartment would therefore probably be a perfect target for burglars. But even if everyone means well, it is up to each employee to decide whether they want to share their personal data such as overtime, working hours, vacation days, etc. with all their colleagues.

Rights management

In shyftplan, data protection is guaranteed by rights management, i.e. the assignment and management of individual viewing and editing rights for employees. Thanks to this rights management, it is possible for each employee to only see and change what they need to work on while the employees' data remains protected. Good rights management ensures the protection of personal data without compromising the functionality of the duty roster and thus creates a solid basis for data protection within a company.

Data protection in shift planning

The answer to the question of whether it is expressly forbidden to display the duty roster is therefore: Yes and no. If you want to display the duty roster publicly, you have the option of anonymizing or pseudonymizing it. This makes it impossible or very difficult to assign the data shown to a specific person. This means that every employee can see when he or she has worked or will work, but does not know at the same time when the other employees are scheduled to work. The same applies to the vacation schedule or recorded overtime. Unfortunately, this does not help employees to swap shifts or find a replacement if someone is spontaneously absent; in this case, another solution must be found.

Posting a shift plan - declaration of consent

Another option for continuing to post a duty roster is to obtain a written declaration of consent from the employees. If all employees, without exception, expressly agree to the publication of the duty roster and no third parties have access to the relevant premises, the duty roster can continue to be posted. However, this does not include permission to copy or photograph the roster, as the roster could be made accessible to persons outside the company in this way (even unintentionally). Anyone who copies or photographs a duty roster containing the personal data of others is in breach of the Federal Data Protection Act.

It should be noted that employees are not entitled to the publication of the entire duty roster or even a copy of the roster, not even for the purpose of shift swaps or vacation planning. This blog post has been researched by the shyftplan team with a lot of hard work and love and has been written to the best of their knowledge and belief. However, it does not replace legal advice in case of doubt. If you want to clarify important questions about data protection, it is best to contact a data protection officer or a lawyer you trust.

round visual

With shyftplan, the duty roster is always up-to-date and available online

With our software, you can elegantly avoid the issue of data protection and posting rosters. Shift schedules are always online and accessible to everyone in our app. Data protection is guaranteed by rights management, i.e. the assignment and management of individual viewing and editing rights for employees.