How we process our candidates’ personal data at abcam


Abcam is committed to protecting the privacy and security of its candidates’ personal information.
This privacy notice describes how we collect and use personal information about you during the recruitment process, and after the recruitment process has ended.
It applies to all individuals that apply for work with us or enter into a recruitment process after being referred or sourced, whether as an employee, agency worker or contractor (together, “candidates”).


We will comply with data protection law and principles, which means that your information will be:
•  Used lawfully, fairly and in a transparent way.                                 
•  Collected only for valid purposes that we have clearly explained to you and not used in any way that is incompatible with those purposes.                        
•  Relevant to the purposes we have told you  about and limited only to those purposes.                                
•  Accurate and kept up to date
•  Kept only for as long as necessary for the purposes we have told you about.                                                                               
• Kept securely.

Regarding your application to work with us, we will collect, store, and use the following categories of personal information about you:
• The information you have provided to us, your curriculum vitae and covering letter either to us directly or via third parties such as recruitment agencies or social     media sites (for example, LinkedIn).
• The information you have provided during our application process, including name, title, address, telephone number, personal email address, gender, ethnic origin, sexual orientation, veteran status, age, disability, employment history, qualifications, visa/work permit, convictions, current salary (if applicable). Please note that our diversity monitoring is an optional part of our application process.
Any information you provide to us as part of the recruitment process, including examination certificates and evidence of your right to work, such as a copy of your driving licence or passport.
• Any information you provide to us during an interview.
• Any information you provide to us during any relevant assessments with us or with third-party service providers, including your test results.
• Interview notes.
• Any information you provide to us, or our background check partner, as part of your background checks, for example any employment reference details.

   We, or our third-party service providers, may also collect, store and use the following “special categories” of more sensitive personal information:
• Information about your race or ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation.
• Information about your health, including any medical condition, health and sickness records.
In most cases, the personal information we have about you has been obtained directly from you.

We collect personal information through the application and recruitment process, either directly from you or sometimes from a recruitment agency. We may sometimes collect additional information from third parties, including your former employers, any Abcam employees who referred you for a role, professional social media websites (for example, LinkedIn), any named referees you provide, credit reference agencies, assessment centres or other background check agencies.

Situations in which we will use your personal information
We need to keep and process information about you to enable us to run our recruitment process effectively, lawfully and appropriately, and to enable us to comply with our legal obligations.

The situations in which we envisage we will process your personal information are listed below.
• Assessing your skills, qualifications, and suitability for the role.
• Carrying out background and reference checks, where applicable.
• Making a decision about your recruitment or appointment.
• Determining the terms on which you work for us.
• Monitoring diversity information for the purpose of equal opportunity compliance.
• Checking you are legally entitled to work in the country in which your office is based.
• Preventing fraud.
• Communicating with you about the recruitment process, which could be by post, phone, email, SMS or WhatsApp.
• Keeping records related to our hiring processes.
• Complying with legal or regulatory requirements including health and safety obligations.

We may also use your personal information in the following situations, which are likely to be rare:
• Where we need to protect your interests (or someone else’s interests)
• Where it is needed in the public interest.

It is in our legitimate interests to process your personal information in accordance with this notice to decide it we want to enter into a contract of employment with you.

If you fail to provide personal information

If you fail to provide information when requested, which is necessary for us to consider your application (such as evidence of qualifications or work history), we will not be able to process your application successfully. For example, if we require a credit check or references for this role and you fail to provide us with relevant details, we will not be able to take your application further.


We may collect and process your particularly sensitive (or “special category”) personal information when you voluntarily provide them, or we receive them from a third party with your consent.

We will use your particularly sensitive personal information in the following ways:
  • We will use information about your physical or mental health, or disability status, to consider whether we need to provide appropriate adjustments during the recruitment process, for example whether adjustments need to be made during a test or interview.
  • We will use any information that you provide to us about your race, national or ethnic origin, gender, sexual orientation, religion/belief or any other protected characteristic to ensure accurate and meaningful diversity monitoring and reporting. This information will not be used in the recruitment process itself.

We may not need your consent if we use special categories of your personal information in accordance with this written policy, to carry out our legal obligations, exercise specific rights in the field of employment law or if the information is required to protect your health in an emergency.  If we need to process particularly sensitive personal information in any other way, we will always obtain your explicit consent to those activities.

Where appropriate, we may collect information about criminal convictions as part of your recruitment process or we may be notified of such information by you. We will only use information relating to criminal convictions if it is appropriate given the nature of your role and where applicable law allows us to do so. We have in place an appropriate policy and safeguards which we are required by law to maintain when processing such data.

You will not be subject to decisions that will have a significant impact on you based solely on automated decision-making.

Who does Abcam share my personal information with?
Generally, we only share your personal information with third parties where it is necessary to process your application or when it is required by law.

For example, we use a third-party host to administer and process applications, we may ask third party service providers to administer candidate testing and perform background checks. We may also share your personal information with other Abcam companies as part of our regular business reporting activities. We may also need to share your personal information with regulators, or to otherwise comply with the law.

Transferring information outside the EU
Most of our current recruitment data is hosted on the Oracle Cloud (the relevant servers are located in the UK and the Netherlands). However, we may transfer and process the personal information we collect about you to countries outside the UK, the Netherlands or your home country, particularly because our group companies and third-party service providers operate around the world.

To ensure that your personal information receives an adequate level of protection, we have put in place appropriate safeguards to ensure that your personal information will remain protected in accordance with this privacy notice and is treated in accordance with applicable laws on data protection. These are:
• The use of the European Commission’s / UK Information Commissioner Office’s (ICO’s) standard model data protection clauses, which require companies to protect personal information they process from the EEA /UK in accordance with all applicable data protection law.
• Transferring to countries that have been deemed to provide an adequate level of protection for personal data by the European Commission and/or the UK ICO.

Further details can be provided upon request from

Abcam takes the security of personal information very seriously. We have put in place appropriate security measures to protect the security of your information and to prevent your personal information from being accidentally lost, used or accessed in an unauthorised way, altered or disclosed. In addition, we limit access to your personal information to those employees, agents, contractors and other third parties who have a business need to know. They will only process your personal information on our instruction and they are subject to a duty of confidentiality. Details of these measures are available upon request.

We also require our service providers to take appropriate security measures to protect your personal information. We do not allow our third-party service providers to use your personal data for their own purposes. We only permit them to process your personal data for specified purposes and in accordance with our instructions.

We have put in place procedures to deal with any suspected breach of data security and will notify you and any applicable regulator of a breach where we are legally required to do so.

How long will you use my information for?

We will only retain your personal information for as long as necessary to fulfil the purposes we collected it for, including for the purposes of satisfying any legal, accounting, or reporting requirements. To determine the appropriate retention period for personal data, we consider the amount, nature, and sensitivity of the personal data, the potential risk of harm from unauthorised use or disclosure of your personal data, the purposes for which we process your personal data and whether we can achieve those purposes through other means, and the applicable legal requirements, detailed in our Data Retention and Disposal Policy and Schedule. Relevant details are available on request from

In some circumstances, we may anonymise your personal information so that it can no longer be associated with you. If that happens, we may use such information without further notice to you as it will no longer be personal data.

Once you are no longer in the recruitment process, we will retain and securely destroy your personal information in accordance with Abcam’s policies and applicable laws and regulations.

Your duty to inform us of changes
It is important that the personal information we hold about you is accurate and current. Please keep us informed if your personal information changes during the recruitment process.

Your rights in connection with personal information

Under certain circumstances, subject to certain restrictions and applicable law, you may have the right to:
Request access to your personal information (commonly known as a “data subject access request”).
Request correction of the personal information that we hold about you.
Request erasure of your personal information.
Object to processing of your personal information, where we are relying on a legitimate interest (or those of a third party) and there is something about your situation which makes you want to object to processing on this ground.
Request the restriction of processing of your personal information.
Request the transfer of your personal information to another party.
Withdraw your consent to processing your personal information where we are relying on your consent to do so. 

If you want to review, verify, correct or request erasure of your personal information, object to the processing of your personal data, withdraw your consent to processing of your personal data, or request that we transfer a copy of your personal information to another party, please contact and put “CANDIDATE SAR” in the subject line of the email.

You will not have to pay a fee to access your personal information (or to exercise any of your other data protection rights). However, if your request for access is clearly unfounded or excessive, we may refuse to comply with the request.

We may need to request specific information from you to help us confirm your identity and ensure your right to access the information (or to exercise any of your other rights). This is another appropriate security measure to ensure that personal information is not disclosed to any person who has no right to receive it.


Abcam plc (in the UK) is Controller of your Personal Data (ICO registration number Z8516765). If you are employed in Europe and your employment contract is with Abcam BV, Abcam BV and Abcam plc will be Joint Controllers of your Personal Data. As a Controller, we are responsible for deciding how we hold and use personal information about you. We are required under applicable UK or European Union data protection legislation to notify you of the information contained in this privacy notice.

We have appointed a Data Protection Officer (DPO) to oversee compliance with this privacy notice. If you have any questions about this privacy notice or how we handle your personal information, please contact the DPO at

You may have a right to complain to a data protection authority about our collection and use of your personal information. We would, however, always appreciate the opportunity to address your issues or concerns so please do contact us in the first instance. The contact details for data protection authorities in the UK, the EEA, Switzerland and certain non-European countries (including the US and Canada) are available here.


We reserve the right to update this privacy notice at any time, and we will provide you with a new privacy notice when we make any substantial updates. We may also notify you in other ways from time to time about the processing of your personal information.

This privacy notice was last updated on 11 February 2022