June 2019 - MLP Law

Happy GDPR –Versary!

 

The GDPR has now been in force for over a year– where are we after the rush, uncertainty (and headaches!) of May 2018?

GDPR in Numbers – One year on…..

Across Europe, since the implementation of the GDPR on 25th May 2018…

500,000+          organisations estimated to have registered a Data Protection Officer (DPO) – there are 32,000 registered in the UK alone

280,000+          cases have been received by DPOs

OF WHICH

144,000+          are complaints from individuals

GDPR enforcement across Europe has also resulted in €56,000,000+  being recovered in fines

(Source – IAPP.org)

So what does this mean for all of us? And what do we think that the next 12 months of GDPR will bring?

2018 was only the beginning

2018 doesn’t appear to have answered all of our questions on the GDPR – we’re still anticipating guidance from the European Data Protection Board on children’s data, what the concepts of data controller and data processor mean, and how companies and organisations can more efficiently build data protection into their day to day operations. Every organisation will need to keep its fingers on the pulse to make sure that they keep on top of the latest developments.

After some serious scares around the increase in fines under the GDPR (up to €20 million, or 4% of an organisation’s annual global turnover), we have seen one major fine as a result of GDPR – of the €56,000,000 recovered in fines, €50,000,000 of this alone was a single fine issued by the French data protection authority, CNIL, to Google.

CNIL found that Google failed to provide users with clear and understandable information on how it processes data, so that customers were effectively prevented from opting out of marketing. We can expect to see more fines as data protection authorities such as the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) run through their investigations – they’re already cracking down on organisations that haven’t paid their data protection fee.

GDPR hasn’t only had an effect in Europe – globally, many nations have also started looking at their own rules around data protection, and they’ve been looking to the GDPR for inspiration. The California Consumer Privacy Act mirrors many of the principles of the GDPR, and Brazil is also reviewing its data protection rules.

We are all more aware of our data rights

Following on from the implementation of the GDPR, it seems that we’re all more aware of our right to protect our personal data – according to the European Commission, 67% of Europeans have heard of the GDPR, and 50% know that there is an organisation who’s responsible for protecting their personal data (like the ICO in the UK).

DPOs across Europe have seen 144,000+ complaints following the implementation for the GDPR – the ICO alone have seen an 133% increase in the complaints it received between May –October 2018. Common complaints include difficulties around accessing personal data, unwanted marketing and unfair data processing by organisations.

Will this trend continue as we see the new GDPR regime develop?  As well as creating increased awareness of our data rights, the GDPR does allow individuals to take court action against organisations if their data rights are breached – we may see an increase in court cases as public awareness grows.

Compliance is a marathon, not a sprint

One of the key differences between the old Data Protection Act and the current regime is that we all have to demonstrate ongoing compliance with the principals of the GDPR – it isn’t enough to have policies and procedures in place, you need to keep monitoring and reviewing them to make sure they work.

We all sprinted to get our consents and policies in place before 25th May 2018, but we all need to make sure that we’re running the marathon and protecting customer data for the long term – businesses work better when their customers trust them with their data.

If you’re uncertain on, or in a muddle over your GDPR obligations, or feel you just need some fine tuning our data protection specialists can help you.  We deal with all aspects of Data Protection – whether you have a quick query or need a full compliance audit. Call our commercial team on 0161 926 9969 or email commercial@mlplaw.co.uk

 

 

What can you do if your employees are late due to public transport chaos?

You may have seen that one of this week’s headlines is the nationwide disruption to public transport due to bad weather. Public transport issues make for late employees and this may cause you to ask – what position am I in if an employee is late through no fault of their own?

In short, there is no obligation to pay employees who fail to attend work, or who arrive late, due to public transport disruption, unless there is a specific contractual provision for this. The onus is on the employee to arrive to work on time.

However, the matter gets more complicated when taking into account employee morale. Despite not being an unlawful deduction of wages under s.13 of the Employment Rights Act 1996, deducting someone’s wages due to cancelled trains may be seen as a slightly over the top move, especially if they only arrive late by a few minutes and their lateness is a one off.

An employer might consider a harsher approach if the employee seems to be regularly delayed due to their method of getting to work. In this case, they should first encourage the employees to explore alternative means of transport. In some cases, perhaps a flexible working situation would be more appropriate, where if the employee arrives 15 minutes late, they may add that time on to the end of their day.

In conclusion, every situation is unique. Punishment for punishment’s sake may not be viewed lightly by your workforce and could cause low employee morale. However, if an employee is consistently late this may impact business productivity. The best way to ensure fairness is to have an adverse weather and travel disruption policy, which can lay out a level of discretion in the case of a cancelled train or delayed bus.


If you need help on an individual case of employee-lateness, or don’t have an up-to-date adverse weather and travel disruption policy, please contact our Employment Team on 0161 926 1508, or follow our employment law-specific Twitter account @HRGuruUK.

 

NEWS FROM MLP LAW

The smartest person in the room – Well that is everyone at MLP LAW

“Diversity at MLP law, is something that comes natural in all that we do. We don’t think about what we need to do to be more inclusive, because we would never be able to grow our business to be capable of surviving in this ever-changing world we all live in, if we didn’t”, says Anna Beaumont, CEO of MLP LAW.

The principles of equality and diversity are important to the legal profession, and the solicitor’s regulation authority play a major role in guiding the actions we need to take, to build our business and support our lawyers and their careers.

At MLP LAW we have developed a working environment that supports our staff and the business, running parallel to each other, so the staff benefits, and the business does.

We have created an atmosphere that allows for issues to be resolved – our open-door approach is working. The respecting of individual views, and appreciating the differences between each one of us and how team work can produce better outcomes, is our aim.

A good business needs to not be led by someone who always has to be,” the smartest person in the room!”, that only dilutes creative thought and innovation. So, we have worked hard to ensure we listen.

At MLP, we think being the most effective leaders and building confidence in our team to believe in their capabilities, how they can add value and learn from each other makes the future for MLP stronger.

We are a company that demands we all respect each other and encourage team participation and new ideas to make MLP the best it can be. We want everyone to enjoy the role each person plays, as part of MLP LAW.

We see equal opportunities to all as essential to provide our employees the ability to reach their individual potential and that means receiving equal access in relation to employment, terms and conditions, training, promotions and all aspects of support; work and home.

We know that our staff, if challenged and supported can utilise all their working time to support the growth of the company, instead of planning their escape.

As we are a SME, it’s so very important for us to promote an environment that welcomes and values diversity in regard to a person’s background, beliefs and culture, supports their differing skills and experiences and allows everyone – regardless of ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, & gender identity to be treated as equals.

This is vital for the long-term success of MLP LAW and the legal profession.