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  1. All information concerning clients, former clients, our staff, volunteers, and financial data, and business records of Mermaids is confidential. 
  2. “Confidential” means that employees and volunteers are free to talk about Mermaids and about their role, but they are not permitted to disclose service users’ names or talk about them in ways that will make their identity known. 
  3. No information may be released without appropriate authorisation. This is a basic component of client care and business ethics. The board of trustees, staff and our service users rely on paid and volunteer staff to conform to this rule of confidentiality. Mermaids expects employees and volunteers to respect the privacy of service users and to maintain their personal and financial information as confidential. 
  4. All records dealing with specific service users are always treated as confidential. 
  5. General information, policy statements or statistical material that is not identified with any individual or family is not classified as confidential. 
  6. Staff members are responsible for maintaining the confidentiality of information relating to other staff members and volunteers, in addition to service users. Failure to maintain confidentiality may result in termination of a member of staff, or other corrective action. 
  7. Rationale Confidentiality is the preservation of privileged information. By necessity personal and private information is disclosed in a professional working relationship. Part of what employees and volunteers learn is necessary to provide services to the applicant or service user; other information is shared within the development of a helping, trusting relationship. Therefore, most information gained about individual service users through an assignment is confidential in terms of the law, and disclosure could make employees and volunteers of Mermaids legally liable. Disclosure could also damage a relationship with the service user and make it difficult to help the person. 
  8. All employees and volunteers are made aware of the laws and penalties for breaching confidentiality. 
  9. Mermaids acknowledges that it is liable for the acts of employees and volunteers within the scope of its duty, however retains the right to not support employees and volunteers in the event of legal action if not appropriate. 
  10. Mermaids ensures that its employees and volunteers acknowledge that violation of the state statutes regarding confidentiality of records is punishable upon conviction by fines or by imprisonment or by both.
  11. Mermaids ensures that its employees and volunteers acknowledge that under S22 of the Gender Recognition Act 2004, if someone discloses a trans persons status once there are in receipt of a Gender Recognition Certification a fine of £5000 can be payable. This is a strict liability and has no defence in law. 
  12. All Mermaids staff and volunteers have read this policy on confidentiality and agree to abide by the requirements of the policy and inform the CEO immediately if it is believed any violation (unintentional or otherwise) of the policy has occurred.