Retention of Identification documents

Hi all,

I'm looking for some advice and information on the subject of identity verification in RoE and the laws on retention of that information. How does it differ from the requirements within the UK and has GDPR affected this in any way?

I'm specifically interested in what information you would need to see before hiring and if there is a requirement to keep, or if you are prohibited from keeping, copies of those documents.

Thanks in advance,

Alex McElduff

  • Maybe I'm being dim but what's "RoE"?
  • Or rather "where is RoE"?
  • In reply to Anka:

    Republic of Eire at a guess? Republic of Ireland as I would imagine more people in England would know it

  • In reply to Nicki:

    Ah, ok. Maybe Alex the OP will confirm in due course.
  • In reply to Anka:

    Apologies, it was a typo! Republic of Ireland was the intention.
  • In reply to Alex:

    Hi Alex

    This outlines the situation in the UK


    I’ve no idea what the differences are between UK Home Office requirements and those of the Irish Government but the same EU-wide data protection principles ( eg about right to be forgotten ) will apply.
  • In reply to David:

    Do 'right to work' checks even happen in other countries though? The fact that the UK government has chosen to partly abdicate its responsibility for border control to employers doesn t mean other countries have. Employers might collect sufficient information at application stage (degree certificates, references etc) that ID checks are unnecessary.
  • In reply to Anka:

    This is, in part, what I am trying to find out. I've found some information suggesting that an employer may request to view a passport but that it is unnecessary, and also a potential GDPR breach, to keep a record of it.
    Just trying to get more insight on this.
  • In reply to Alex:

    If it is unnecessary to view a passport and even more so to keep a copy of it, then the logical GDPR conclusion would be that it would be a breach under the Irish equivalent of the Data Protection Act / GDPR.

    I think it's important to remember that, in the UK, this is not about someone proving their identity but about (as employers) proving that we have checked people have the right to work so you might find some information on websites or helplines specifically dealing with immigration into Ireland?
  • Hi Alex

    In Ireland, we are bound by the Data Protection Acts in relation to data retention and what an employer keeps on files for employees.

    Employers are required to ensure that all staff working within their organisation have the legal right to live and work in Ireland and as such, if an applicant is from outside the EU, it would be necessary for the applicant to provide the relevant proof of their eligibility to live and work in Ireland (passport, copy of employment permit etc) to the employer.
    Passport details can be noted for file, but there is no requirement for an employer to keep a copy of a passport on file.
    However, an employer should keep records of the Employment Permit on file for a period of 5 years or for the duration of the employment.

    This link should provide you with all the info you may need to know on data protection in the workplace:

  • In reply to Fionnuala Kilcoyne:

    Hi Fionnula

    Here in the UK, we check everyone's right to work by checking their passports (or other acceptable documentation). How in practice would you handle this in Ireland then? Is there no need to check if someone says they are French or Polish, you would just take their word for it but if someone came in from Chile or Burkina Faso, you would need to do the check?
  • In reply to Anka:

    Hi Anka

    As part of a recruitment process, it can be stated on job postings that all candidate may be asked to provide confirmation of their legal right to live and work in Ireland.
    Certainly, I check that all staff have the legal right to live and work in Ireland (I would require to see photo ID such as a passport etc and I wouldn't accept a candidates word for it), but don't keep copies of passports of file as this could potentially put us in breach of DP regs.
    If a candidate is from outside the EU, then we would record details of their work permits and hold these on file for the duration of their employment as this is a legal requirement.