Data Privacy Notice – Employees, Tenants and Independent Contractors

We are committed to protecting the privacy and security of your personal information.

This privacy notice describes how we collect and use personal information about you during and after your working relationship with us, in accordance with the Protection of Personal Information Act, 2013 (“POPIA”).

It applies to all employees, tenants and independent contractors.

Virgin Active South Africa (Pty) Ltd and/or Virgin Active Botswana (Pty) Ltd (Virgin Active or the company) is a "responsible party".  This means we are responsible for deciding how we hold and use personal information about you.  We are required under data protection legislation to notify you of the information contained in this privacy notice.

This notice applies to current and former employees, tenants and independent contractors.  This notice does not form part of any contract of employment or other contract to provide services.  We may update this notice at any time but if we do so, we will provide you with an updated copy of this notice as soon as reasonably practicable.

It is important that you read and retain this notice, together with any other privacy notice we may provide on specific occasions when we are collecting or processing personal information about you, so that you are aware of how and why we are using such information and what your rights are under the data protection legislation.

What information do we collect?

We collect and process a range of information about you. This includes:

  • your name, address and contact details, including email address and telephone number, date of birth and gender
  • the terms and conditions of your employment
  • details of your qualifications, skills, experience and employment history, including start and end dates, with previous employers and with us
  • information about your remuneration, including entitlement to benefits such as pensions or insurance cover
  • details of your bank account and unemployment insurance number
  • information about your marital status, next of kin, dependants and emergency contacts
  • information about your nationality and entitlement to work in South Africa
  • information about your criminal record (if applicable for your job role)
  • details of your schedule (days of work and working hours) and attendance at work
  • details of periods of leave taken by you, including holiday, sickness absence, family leave and sabbaticals, and the reasons for the leave
  • details of any disciplinary or grievance procedures in which you have been involved, including any warnings issued to you and related correspondence
  • assessments of your performance, including appraisals, performance reviews and ratings, training you have participated in, performance improvement plans and related correspondence
  • information about medical or health conditions, including whether or not you have a disability for which we need to make reasonable adjustments
  • equal opportunities monitoring information, including information about your ethnic origin, sexual orientation, health and religion or belief

We collect this information in a variety of ways. For example, data is collected through application forms and CVs; obtained from your passport or other identity documents such as your driving licence; from forms completed by you at the start of or during employment (such as benefit nomination forms); from correspondence with you; or through interviews, meetings or other assessments.

In some cases, we collect personal data about you from third parties, such as references supplied by former employers and information from criminal records checks permitted by law, based on job role.

Data is stored in a range of different places, including in your personnel file, in our payroll system and in other IT systems (including the email system).

Why do we process personal data?

We need to process data to enter into an employment contract with you and to meet our obligations under your employment contract. For example, we need to process your data to provide you with an employment contract, to pay you in accordance with your employment contract and to administer benefits, pension and insurance entitlements.

In some cases, we need to process data to ensure we are complying with our legal obligations. For example, we are required to check your entitlement to work in South Africa, to deduct tax, to comply with health and safety laws and to enable you to take periods of leave to which you are entitled. For certain positions, it is necessary to carry out criminal records checks to ensure that individuals are permitted to undertake the role in question.

In other cases, we have a legitimate interest in processing personal data before, during and after the end of the employment relationship. Processing your data allows us to:

  • run recruitment and promotion processes
  • detect fraud
  • maintain accurate and up-to-date employment records and contact details (including details of who to contact in the event of an emergency), and records of employee contractual and statutory rights
  • operate and keep a record of disciplinary and grievance processes, to ensure acceptable conduct within the workplace
  • operate and keep a record of employee performance and related processes, to plan for career development, and for succession planning and workforce management purposes
  • operate and keep a record of absence and absence management procedures, to allow effective workforce management and ensure that you are receiving the pay or other benefits to which you are entitled
  • obtain occupational health advice, to ensure that we comply with duties in relation to individuals with disabilities, meet our obligations under health and safety law, and ensure that you are receiving the pay or other benefits to which you are entitled
  • operate and keep a record of other types of leave (including maternity, paternity, adoption, parental and shared parental leave), to allow effective workforce management, to ensure that we comply with duties in relation to leave entitlement, and to ensure that you are receiving the pay or other benefits to which you are entitled
  • ensure effective general HR and business administration
  • provide references on request for current or former employees
  • respond to and defend against legal claims
  • maintain and promote equality in the workplace

Where we rely on legitimate interests as a reason for processing data, we have considered whether or not those interests are overridden by the rights and freedoms of employees or workers and will only process that data where we have concluded that they are not.

Some special categories of personal data, such as information about health, mental health, or medical conditions, is processed to carry out employment law obligations (such as those in relation to employees with disabilities and for health and safety purposes).

Where we process other special categories of personal data, such as information about race, ethnic origin, sexual orientation, health or religion or belief, this is done for the purposes of equal opportunities monitoring. Data that we use for these purposes is anonymised or is collected with express consent from you, which can be withdrawn at any time. You are usually entirely free to decide whether or not to provide such data and there are no consequences of failing to do so, unless there is a legal obligation on us to collect the data.

Who has access to data?

Your information will be shared internally, including with members of the People team (including payroll), your line manager (and their line manager(s)), managers in the business area in which you work and IT staff if access to the data is necessary for performance of their roles.

We share your data with third parties in order to obtain pre-employment references from other employers and obtain necessary criminal and/or credit records checks from the South African Police Services or other third parties, such as credit bureaus (if applicable to your job role). We may also share your data with third parties in the context of a sale of some or all of the business. In those circumstances the data will be subject to confidentiality arrangements.

The company also shares your data with third parties that process data on its behalf, in connection the provision of benefits and the provision of occupational health services.

The company will not transfer your data to countries outside South Africa, unless we are legally entitled to do so.

How do we protect data?

We take the security of your data seriously. We have internal policies and controls in place to try to ensure that your data is not lost, accidentally destroyed, misused or disclosed, and is not accessed except by its employees in the performance of their duties. We have a Data Protection policy in place and all systems that have your data held within it, have appropriate access controls in place, so only people who need the data can access it.

Where we engage third parties to process personal data on our behalf, they do so on the basis of written instructions, are under a duty of confidentiality and are obliged to implement appropriate technical and organisational measures to ensure the security of data.

For how long do we keep data?

We will hold your personal data for the duration of your employment. The periods for which your data is held after the end of employment is a minimum period of 3 (three) years unless we are legally entitled to or obliged to hold it for longer.

What are your rights?

As a data subject, you have a number of rights. You can:

  • access and obtain a copy of your data on request (known as a “subject access request” or “SAR”)
  • require us to change incorrect or incomplete data
  • require us to delete or stop processing your data, for example where the data is no longer necessary for the purposes of processing
  • object to the processing of your data where we are relying on our legitimate interests as the legal ground for processing
  • ask us to stop processing data for a period if data is inaccurate or there is a dispute about whether or not your interests override our legitimate grounds for processing data

If you make a SAR then we will tell you:

  • whether your data is processed and if so why, the categories of personal data concerned and the source of the data if it is not collected from you
  • to whom your data is or may be disclosed and the safeguards that apply to such transfers
  • for how long your personal data is stored (or how that period is decided)
  • your rights to rectification or erasure of data, or to restrict or object to processing
  • your right to complain to the Information Regulator if you think we have failed to comply with your data protection rights

We will also provide you with a copy of the personal data undergoing processing.

To make a SAR, you should send the request to the People team. In some cases, we may need to ask for proof of identification before the SAR can be processed. We will inform you if we need to verify you identity and the documents it requires.

We will normally respond to a SAR within a period of one month from the date it is received. In some cases, such as where we process large amounts of your data, we may respond within three months of the date the SAR t is received. We will write to you within one month of receiving the original SAR to tell you if this is the case.

If a SAR is manifestly unfounded or excessive, we are not obliged to comply with it. Alternatively, we can agree to respond but will charge a fee prescribed in terms of relevant laws. A SAR is likely to be manifestly unfounded or excessive where it repeats a request to which we have already responded. If you submit a SAR that is unfounded or excessive, we will notify you that this is the case and whether or not we will respond to it.

Other rights

You also have a number of other rights in relation to your personal data. You can require us to:

  • rectify inaccurate data
  • stop processing or erase data that is no longer necessary for the purposes of processing
  • stop processing or erase data if your interests override our legitimate grounds for processing data (where we rely on its legitimate interests as a reason for processing data)
  • stop processing or erase data if processing is unlawful
  • stop processing data for a period if data is inaccurate or if there is a dispute about whether or not your interests override our legitimate grounds for processing data
  • be notified of a Personal Data Breach which is likely to result in high risk to your rights and freedoms
  • in limited circumstances, receive or ask for your Personal Data to be transferred to a third party in a structured, commonly used and machine readable format.

If you would like to exercise any of these rights, please contact the People Team.

If you believe that we have not complied with your data protection rights, we would prefer that you first raise this internally for a resolution, but you can complain to the Information Regulator (see

Who is our Information Officer?

We have appointed an Information Officer to oversee compliance with our data protection obligations. Our Information Officer is our Legal Director, Phila Zulu. If you are unable to find answers to any questions you have relating to this notice from your manager or from the People team, please contact the Information Officer.

What if you do not provide personal data?

You have some obligations under your employment contract and relevant laws to provide us with data. In particular, you are required to report absences from work and may be required to provide information about disciplinary or other matters under the implied duty of good faith. You may also have to provide us with data in order to exercise your statutory rights, such as in relation to statutory leave entitlements.

Failing to provide the data may mean that you are unable to exercise your statutory rights.

Certain information, such as contact details, your right to work in South Africa and payment details, have to be provided to enable us to enter a contract of employment with you. If you do not provide other information, this will hinder our ability to administer the rights and obligations arising as a result of the employment relationship efficiently.