UK: GDPR After 25 May: What Does This Mean For HR?

Last Updated: 24 May 2018
Article by Chris Holme and Corinna Harris

Most Read Contributor in UK, November 2018

HR teams have been working towards getting their processes ready to comply with the new data protection laws from 25 May 2018, when the GDPR comes into force, and while some businesses will be ready for the GDPR, many will not. For many businesses, this date will represent the early stages of a long compliance journey.

What should HR be doing now?

We set out below some of the key steps HR may need to focus on now, depending on what stage you are at on the journey to GDPR compliance.

It is important to take steps now as failure to comply with the GDPR has potentially very serious consequences. The ICO (the UK regulator) may issue fines of up to 4% of annual worldwide turnover or €20 million (whichever is higher). Individuals can also claim compensation to recover both material and non-material damage (such as distress).

The ICO has stressed that it will continue to take a proportionate and pragmatic approach when considering breaches of data protection rights and that enforcement would be a last resort. That said, if an employer persistently, deliberately or negligently flouts the law, it will impose hefty fines.

Keeping staff informed

By 25 May, staff should receive a privacy notice which sets out information about their personal data, including the purposes and legal basis for the data processing. Going forwards, HR should ensure processes are in place so that if any changes are made which mean that, for example, different categories of data are processed or the purpose of processing data changes, staff are informed about this in an updated privacy notice.

In the same way, updated privacy notices to reflect any changes should be given to job applicants.

Preparing and updating HR policies and procedures

In addition to updating employment contracts, consultancy agreements and the data protection policies, some HR procedures will need updating - for example those relating to recruitment and obtaining references and medical reports.

Individuals have a number of new rights, including the right to erasure (deletion of data in relation to them) and to restrict/object to processing. These rights will be triggered as a result of non-compliance with the GDPR data protection principles, which can include retaining data longer than necessary. HR will therefore need to have processes to record and act on such requests by job applicants and current and former staff.

Data security and training

Employers must notify the ICO of a data breach within 72 hours of becoming aware of it, unless it is unlikely to adversely impact on individuals' rights. If however the data breach is likely to have a significant impact on individuals' rights and freedoms, those individuals must also be notified promptly.

To reduce the risk of a data breach, it is important to educate staff about their data protection and security obligations – this also demonstrates that you have taken steps to ensure that staff process personal data lawfully.

Once you have an updated procedure for handling DSARs, and established procedures for dealing with the new rights (such as the right to erasure) you should arrange training for those individuals who will be dealing with DSARs etc. This will usually include HR, line managers and IT.

It is important to get the DSAR process right because, in addition to the financial penalties outlined above, the ICO may bring criminal proceedings against the company or its directors if steps have been taken to alter, erase, destroy or conceal data with the intention of preventing disclosure.

Data cleansing

Personal data should be kept no longer than necessary for the purposes for which it was processed. Historically, data retention policies have often not been implemented as seriously as they will now need to be. The increased, and serious, sanctions for non-compliance should encourage employers to be stricter about managing data retention properly.

Another reason for employers to be mindful of poorly managed data retention is that this is likely to significantly increase the burden created by data subject access requests (DSARs) – a tool increasingly used by employees to find information processed about them. The publicity surrounding the GDPR means that employers may see a spike in requests from employees, former employees and job applicants to see the information that is held about them.

Changes to DSARs under the GDPR generally allow employers less time to comply and, potentially, a wider pool of data to be captured by such requests. That said, effective data cleansing should ensure that:

  • the costs and time incurred in responding to DSARs are no greater than necessary, and
  • DSARs do not flag wider non-compliance in relation to data that should have been deleted/destroyed.

Data cleansing systems must be in place to ensure that HR and all line managers etc who process staff personal data comply with the data retention policy. All staff personal data must be securely deleted/destroyed, or de-personalised, if there is no lawful basis for processing it.

Demonstrating compliance with data protection principles

Employers must be able to demonstrate compliance, if challenged by the ICO. This means that, throughout the design stage of any policy, process, product or service, employers must take data protection risks into account by:

  • assessing and implementing appropriate and proportionate technical and organisational measures and procedures from the outset
  • putting mechanisms in place to ensure that only personal data necessary for each specific purpose is processed, and
  • completing a detailed Data Privacy Impact Assessment if carrying out "high risk" processing, such as CCTV monitoring or the processing of special category sensitive data (this may involve consulting with the ICO about whether risk mitigation is adequate).

In addition, there are new GDPR recordkeeping requirements. As part of demonstrating compliance, employers must maintain a record of their processing activities which must contain certain information, such as the purposes of processing, data retention and security measures. This record must be made available to the ICO on request.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Authors
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Wright Hassall LLP
Shepherd and Wedderburn LLP
 
In association with
Related Topics
 
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Wright Hassall LLP
Shepherd and Wedderburn LLP
Related Articles
 
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Tools
Print
Font Size:
Translation
Channels
Mondaq on Twitter
 
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
 
Email Address
Company Name
Password
Confirm Password
Position
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Accounting
 Anti-trust
 Commercial
 Compliance
 Consumer
 Criminal
 Employment
 Energy
 Environment
 Family
 Finance
 Government
 Healthcare
 Immigration
 Insolvency
 Insurance
 International
 IP
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Litigation
 Media & IT
 Privacy
 Real Estate
 Strategy
 Tax
 Technology
 Transport
 Wealth Mgt
Regions
Africa
Asia
Asia Pacific
Australasia
Canada
Caribbean
Europe
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
U.K.
United States
Worldwide Updates
Registration (you must scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of www.mondaq.com

To Use Mondaq.com you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.

Disclaimer

The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.

General

Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions