Getting the GDPR right for HR

With the implementation of the GDPR just around the corner (May 2018), it’s essential to consider how the new regulation is going to impact on HR matters. We know how tricky this can be, particularly for small businesses with no in-house team to guide them through the steps to compliance.

The  European Commission has recently put together some guidance on the GDPR, which you can take a look at here. Alongside this, they’ve also launched a new online tool for SMEs, which you can find here. The tool aims to raise awareness of the GDPR, and gives practical advice to help guide you through to a successful conclusion of the GDPR.

Similarly, the ICO has updated its guide to the GDPR. These updates include:

  • More information on the ‘lawful basis’ for collecting personal data, such as legal obligation, vital interests and public task, and
  • A more detailed explanation on personal data breaches.

You can find the full guide here. Alongside the guide, the ICO has also published guidance on documentation, and the new requirements under Article 30 of the GDPR. You can see that here.

If you’re not already a part of our community, now is the perfect time to join us. Here at Enlighten HR we will be advising clients (not people on the general mailing list so now might be a good time to talk to us about joining our community) on the HR related steps you need to take to make sure you’re GDPR compliant. As part of this we’ll also be supplying a GDPR Policy and a range of other employee-related paperwork.

If you’re interested, you can find out more by contacting Alison here.

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European court rules that bosses can read workers’ private messages

The recent European Court of Human Rights ruling that states that an organisation that read a worker’s personal messages sent while he was at work was within its rights.

Can an employee be dismissed for sending private messages at work?

The engineer was dismissed for sending personal emails during his working hours and claimed that his employer had violated his right to correspondence and was in breach of the Constitution and Criminal Code by accessing his private messages. His complaint was dismissed on the grounds that his employer had complied with the relevant dismissal proceedings and that the complainant had previously been informed of company regulations.

He continued to appeal on the basis that his emails were protected by Article 8. Article 8 states that there is a right to respect private and family life, the home and correspondence. However the Court of Appeal decided that the employer had been reasonable.

Why do employers need to be careful?

Since the court ruling there has been an emphasis placed on ensuring that employers do not take this as an opportunity to regularly snoop on employees. Employers need to respect that employees may reply to work emails on a personal device outside of work hours so it should be considered fair that, on occasion, they may want to engage in personal conversations during the working day on a work device.

How can you prevent this happening at work?

The ruling has been an eye opener for employers and employees. Ensure that your employees are well aware of the company regulations regarding sending personal messages on a work device and do not encourage staff ‘snooping’ as a regular protocol. Make your staff aware that any messages sent on a work device are liable to be checked at any occasion if they employer deems fit.

For professional advice on this or any other HR and Employment Law matters, please contact Alison here.

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