7 GDPR Tips HR Need to Know

Posted in : Supplementary Articles NI on 20 September 2017
Anna Flanagan
Pinsent Masons
Issues covered:

GDPR eLearning Course

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will apply in the UK from 25 May 2018.  The Information Commissioner strongly recommends that your organisation prepares.  With possible fines of €20 million or 4% of global annual turnover, do you want your department to be responsible for a data protection breach?   

This article provides 7 GDPR Tips HR Need to Know, to help you prepare.  From managing personal data, to updating policies on the ‘right to be forgotten’ and subject access requests, to data protection training for staff, you’ll find out what you should do now to protect your organisation.

1. Identify the lawful basis for processing personal data and keep a record of this 

  • You should bear in mind the record-keeping obligations under the GDPR and start keeping a record of the lawful basis for processing personal data.
  • The conditions for processing have slightly changed – review the changes and ensure your organisation can use one of the conditions before processing data.
  • Try to avoid consent as it is unlikely to be valid in an employer/employee relationship.
  • Update your privacy notice to include the reason for processing personal data which is a new requirement under GDPR.

2. Train staff on GDPR

  • Roll out a data protection training programme for staff on the new GDPR implications ensuring they are aware of the relevant policies and changes.  
  • Given that organisations are increasingly vulnerable to the risk of loss, damage or destruction of their data and the new requirement to notify the ICO within 72 hours of a breach, particularly ensure that staff are trained on how to keep data secure. 

Join the many organisations who now do this training online. Not only do they find it more convenient and cost effective but it also generates a real time record of all training activity completed by staff. 

3. Update"right to be forgotten/erasure"policy

  • There are new data subject rights including the "right to be forgotten" or right to erasure (Article 17) which are building on current rights confirmed in case-law, and additionally, right to "data portability" (Article 20). 
  • Ensure you have the appropriate policy and technology in place to recognise and comply with any of these requests within the relevant timescale.

4. Examine retention periods for personal data

  • Look at how long your organisation holds onto to personal data, (E.g. for ex-employees or unsuccessful applicants for job vacancies.)
  • Think about whether you have a logical reason for your current retention periods (if there are such periods). Does this reason apply to all the personal data you hold, or could some be deleted? 
  • The GDPR does not specify particular retention periods, but the general principle not to hold on to data longer than necessary remains. 

5. Update subject access request policy 

There is now a shorter timeframe for response (one month) and no fee payable, make sure your policy reflects this.

6. Workout the transfer of data

  • Examine where Personal Data is transferred, including to Cloud/Storage providers. 
  • Look at all Personal Data outsourcing which could include long-term storage/archiving (where appropriate), payroll etc. 
  • Work out where the Personal Data is held and whether that is inside or outside of the EEA. 
  • Find out if there are appropriate contracts in place and if not consider or take advice on what mechanisms can be used to regularise transfers under the GDPR.

7. Consider special categories of data

Your organisation is very likely to hold "Sensitive Personal Data" for example relating to data subjects disability, ethnicity, religion or health. Consider whether your organisation has any special security measures in place for the processing and transfer of this type of information. 

For further information or to request FREE Trial Access to Legal-Island's Data Protection eLearning, please email debbie@legal-island.com

This article is correct at 20/09/2017

The information in this article is provided as part of Legal-Island's Employment Law Hub. We regret we are not able to respond to requests for specific legal or HR queries and recommend that professional advice is obtained before relying on information supplied anywhere within this article.

Anna Flanagan
Pinsent Masons

The main content of this article was provided by Anna Flanagan. Contact telephone number is 028 9089 4800 or email Anna.Flanagan@pinsentmasons.com

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