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GDPR 3 Months On

GDPR – three-month review

It’s three months since the GDPR regulations were introduced – now is a great time to review your own situation and ensure that those responsible for HR in your organisation are complying with these regulations…

The GDPR regulations, which were introduced in May, govern how businesses – whatever their size – handle personal data; this includes information handed over during the recruitment process, as well as staff information, data garnered from marketing initiatives and so on.

According to the Information Commissioner, the new laws, along with some high-profile investigations, have been instrumental in bringing data protection and privacy to the core of the UK public’s consciousness:

Elizabeth Denham said: “This is an important time for privacy rights, with a new legal framework and increased public interest.

“Transparency and accountability must be paramount, otherwise it will be impossible to build trust in the way that personal information is obtained, used and shared online.”

Interestingly, in contrast, recent research from the Chartered Institute of Marketing [CIM: Public understanding of data protection down as GDPR arrives] suggests that public understanding of data protection had actually dropped following the introduction of GDPR, as had their trust in companies using their data responsibly, with 73% not trusting technology platforms such as Facebook and Twitter with their personal data.

So, three months in, do you understand your own responsibilities with regard to GDPR – are you happy that you are compliant, and that you can remain compliant with the regulations going forward?

If you need a reminder about how important this is, if you do not comply with the GDPR regulations, which aim to enhance data protection and the right to privacy for EU citizens, you could find yourself facing a fine of 20m Euro or 4% of the company’s turnover.

For HR staff, it means that company employees must opt in to their personal data being used – and be aware of what it will be used for. This also applies to those in the recruitment process.

It is easy enough to put into practice – a data privacy statement should be signed by each employee – however you must remember that if you ever plan to use that information for a different purpose to the one outlined in the statement – you MUST get their express permission.

So, if you made sure this was done in time for May’s new regulations, now would be a good chance to revisit your statement and ensure that data is not likely to be used for any other purposes than those you listed last time.

If there are new additions – ensure you get a new statement produced, issued and signed.

Still not really sure where you stand with relation to the GDPR and data protection? We recommend this really useful tool for SMEs ­- Data protection self-assessment toolkit from the Information Commissioner’s office (ICO).

This toolkit will help you assess whether you are remaining compliant with GDPR, and what you need to do if not. The checklist is aimed at small and medium businesses.

At Embrace HR we know that managing people’s personal information is part and parcel of the HR process. We use HR software to easily keep data up to date and to manage what we need to keep and for how long. Software is a simple way to help comply in part with the GDPR. Take a look here for more information and to sign up for your free trial.

If you would like to discuss this subject further and how it may affect your business, please contact Cecily Lalloo at Embrace HR Limited.

T: 01296 769 282 or contact us here.

Based in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, Embrace HR Limited supports business owners who do not have their own HR department or those that do but need help from time to time. We also work across the Home Counties of Oxfordshire, Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire, and also SMEs based in London.

Paperwork

The benefits of HR Software

The new regulations for protecting data are imminent but using specialist HR software can help you stick to the rules – as well as offering many benefits with other day-to-day HR tasks – as we highlight below…

No one with an email address can fail to have noticed the vast numbers of messages asking you to re-opt in to newsletters and marketing messages, which have been flooding in over the past couple of weeks.

It’s all related to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) (EU) 2016/679 that is a regulation in EU law on data protection and privacy for all individuals within the European Union. This comes into effect on 25 May 2018.

These Regulations are aimed at protecting personal data as people become increasingly aware of, and concerned about, how their personal information is stored and shared online.

As well as affecting how you collect and store data from clients and potential clients there are also rules about the information you retain about your employees, what it’s used for and how long it should be kept. Find out more in our previous blog.

Keeping up with these kinds of initiatives can be hard work – especially if you don’t have a whole department of people to keep on top of things. It is a great idea to start automating some of the more transactional and repetitive tasks, freeing up your staff to deal with people-related matters, where they can use their skills and expertise to best effect.

Technology is making it easier to automate some mundane tasks – chatbots (a chatbot is a computer program which conducts a conversation via auditory or textual methods that can interact with potential candidates on your website, and collaboration tools such as Asana (a web and mobile application designed to help teams organise, track, and manage their work) can be used for communicating with potential candidates and staff.

Moreover, specially designed HR software – HR Software As a Service (SAS) – can really help streamline your administration and enable your organisation to keep on top of other developments, such as payroll requirements. HR Software makes all data accessible in one easy-to-find place – perfect when you have to keep track of it for GDPR.

But that’s not its only selling point…

Other benefits of HR software

  1. Automate the workload – Makes it easy for you to keep up with admin for holidays, absences and medical leave.
  2. Ditch the paperwork – Time-consuming tasks can be integrated using real-time data straight on to the system, so you don’t have to deal with mounds of paperwork.
  3. Compliancy – The HR Software can produce up-to-date legal documents for issues such as grievances, performance, disciplinarians and staff exits.
  4. Easy access – Because our HR software is based in the cloud, you can access it wherever you are, as long as you have internet access.
  5. Transparency – With information available for you, your staff and managers, people management can be open and transparent.

Just what you need? You can sign up for your free trial of HR software today at https://embracehr.co.uk/cloud-hr/.

If you would like to discuss this subject further and how it may affect your business, please contact Cecily Lalloo at Embrace HR Limited.

T: 01296 769 282 or contact us here.

Based in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, Embrace HR Limited supports business owners who do not have their own HR department or those that do but need help from time to time. We also work across the Home Counties of Oxfordshire, Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire, and also SMEs based in London.

legislation

All change – Keeping on top of the Payroll Changes

April is a busy time for anyone responsible for the payroll, as the changes announced in November’s budget come into effect…

Keeping up with the changes in regulation can be mind-boggling sometimes, so here is our handy guide to the latest changes in wages and pension payments so you can keep on track.

First is the National Living Wage, which applies to employees over the age of 25. This increased from April 1 2018 by 33p an hour, taking the hourly rate from £7.50 to £7.83.

For those under 25, the National Minimum Wage applies – there’s a number of rates depending on age and whether employees are on an apprentice scheme:

  • Age 21-24 increased to £7.38 (was £7.05)
  • Age 18-20 Increased to £5.90 (was £5.60)
  • Under 18s increased to £4.20 (was 4.05)
  • Apprentices under 19 are entitled to £3.70 (was £3.50)

Your company may be interested in signing up to the Real Living Wage scheme, which aims to recognise the real cost of living. The level of the wage is set by the charity Living Wage Foundation, and more than 3,000 employers are already signed up to the scheme. The current Living Wage is £8.75 an hour (£10.20 in London). It applies to all over 18s and a new rate is calculated each November.

While committing to the Real Living Wage is voluntary, the minimum contributions set by the government for automatic enrolment contributions to workplace pensions are not.

There are two phases to the increase in these contributions – one started on 6 April 2018 and the next will take place from 6 April 2019.

The increase applies to all employers with staff in a pension scheme, and it is the employers’ responsibility to make sure the payments are made.

The amount you have to pay will depend on the type of scheme you have signed up for. Most schemes require a minimum 2% of earnings (increasing to 3% next April) and based on a specific earnings range (between £6,032 and £46,350 for 2018/2019). Calculations include salary, wages, commission, overtime, bonuses and statutory sick pay, as well as statutory adoption pay, statutory maternity pay and paternity pay.

Finally, another big requirement for companies is the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation), which comes into effect on 25 May 2018. The requirements are being introduced in order to protect the data of Europe’s residents. A useful guide to this can be found at https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/guide-to-the-general-data-protection-regulation-gdpr/Introduction.

There’s a lot to take in with all these changes, and any part of the HR process that can be automated has to help with the job. HR software takes a lot of the hassle out of the everyday management jobs in HR – keeping track of holidays, absences, performance and so on. Discover more about our Cloud software and read more about the importance of automating processes here.

If you would like to discuss this subject further, please contact Cecily Lalloo at Embrace HR Limited.

T: 07767 308717 or send an email.

Based in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, Embrace HR Limited supports business owners who do not have their own HR department or those that do but need help from time to time. We also work across the Home Counties of Oxfordshire, Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire, and also SMEs based in London.

GDPR

Stay Protected with the GDPR

Why HR professionals need to ensure they are complying with the latest data protection regulations…

Time moves quickly, and now there is only three months until the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) deadline comes around on 25 May 2018. Guidance can be found here. [ICO website guide to the GDPR]

HR have always had to keep people’s personal data because of the nature of employing people and was regulated under the Data Protection Act. However, the issue of keeping people’s personal data has usually been something that the marketing department has had to deal with – hence all those tick boxes on competition entries and subscription forms.

What it means

Failure to comply with the GDPR regulations will result in large fines being levied on offending organisations, so it’s important that you get it right.  Additionally, breaches must be reported to the ICO (Information Commissioners Office) within 72 hours of becoming aware of the breach.

The regulations require that when you collect data, you make the person aware of under what legal basis you are doing so, how long it will be kept for and whether it will be stored outside of the country. Where this is the case you must detail how the data will be safeguarded. You also need to let them know how they can ask for access to the files you hold and the process for requesting that they be deleted.

It’s worth remembering that the regulations apply to data however it is held – it may be on a main server, it might be in a filing cabinet in the corner of a basement office – the same rules will apply.

Although all regulation implementations involve extra work, the benefit of this work will be that it will help your HR teams to look at the way they process personal data, sort out any gaps in their compliance, and help them to build a healthier relationship with employees. In the process you may also be able to work out where training is needed or identify previously unknown skills within your team.

Data retention

The regulations are aimed at protecting personal data as people become increasingly aware of, and concerned about, how their personal information is stored and shared online. Employers will have more obligations to their staff when it comes to data storage and there will be stricter rules on how long you can keep information for – for instance details that have been gleaned during a recruitment process.

When it comes to former employees there may well be some changes and they will have a right to be ‘forgotten’. That means that while a former employer might want to keep data in case of any backdated employment claims, the employee will have more rights for their details to not be kept by you.

HR departments have been dealing with large volumes of personal date for some time, so it makes sense that this team will become the go-to place for other departments to come to for advice on what information to keep and share.

If you would like to discuss this subject further and how it may affect your business, please contact Cecily Lalloo at Embrace HR Limited.

T: 07767 308717 or contact us here.

 

Based in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, Embrace HR Limited supports business owners who do not have their own HR department or those that do but need help from time to time. We also work across the Home Counties of Oxfordshire, Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire, and also SMEs based in London.