Confidential – Do Not Read

Intriguing, isn’t it? The word – confidential. What is about that word that makes you want to read it even more?

You probably have a lot of confidential information about your employees.   As a minimum you should have their bank details, their passports, contact details and salaries. You may also have medical details, appraisals or planned pay rises. Would you want a complete stranger to have that information about you?

My gym has a bank of computer screens on show. This is so you can book the next session. I was shocked to see one screen displaying their payroll. There is no surer way to upset staff than leaving confidential information for others to see.


How to keep confidential information just that


  • Look at it in a private area.
  • On a screen that no one can see if they walk past.
  • Turn it over or close your screen if someone comes to talk to you.
  • Put away the information or shut down your computer when you walk away from your desk.
  • Keep in a locked/password protected place, away from prying eyes.
  • Limit the access to only those that really need it.
  • Be careful where you send it to print.
  • Double check email addresses.
  • Double check printers and photocopiers.
  • Don’t put it in the recycling bin. Shred it.


Medical Information

Health information is extremely sensitive. Most people won’t be upset if someone found out they once had a cold. They might be embarrassed by tummy problems but we all get them. There are some conditions that people may want very much to be kept quiet.  You should respect this.

Medical information should be kept in a separate file. It should be treated as your most valuable secret. If someone reveals a serious medical condition, always ask permission before you share it. Those with a life threatening condition will understand that they need to make their colleagues aware.  They are likely to be pleased you are taking it seriously.


It’s not just your employees who will be upset with you for sharing confidential information. Every company should now be looking carefully at the GDPR legislation due in May 2018.


Please contact me, in confidence of course, to discuss any issues further.



Categories Communication, Sickness, Uncategorized