What is the GDPR and
How Will it Impact
HR and Payroll?


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As of May 25, 2018, wherever you are in the world, if you do business in the European Union or handle EU residents’ personal data, the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is set to change the way you manage data.

With penalties for non-compliance representing 4% of worldwide revenue (or €20 million, whichever is higher), companies cannot afford to ignore the GDPR.

Did you know?

Only 14% of payroll professionals have received GDPR training specific to the payroll industry.

Source: Global Payroll Association white paper: “Protecting Personal Data and Payroll Professionals”, 2018

What defines “personal data” within the GDPR?

Personal data under GDPR is literally any information that could identify any aspect of an individual’s personal, public or professional life. Examples include; a person’s name, address, phone number, email address, IP address, and cultural, economic and biometric information.

GDPR protects not only identifiable individuals, but also individuals who could be ‘singled out’ among others, even if they can’t be directly identified.

Infographic: GDPR at a Glance

See how HR professionals view the GDPR privacy principles.

New Responsibilities for HR Leaders

GDPR affects all HR applications that process personal employee data, for example, payroll systems, talent administration solutions, and travel/expense tools. HR teams must comply with the strict rules GDPR sets for resident EU employees’ personal data.

Certain articles of the regulation have dominated the headlines – including individuals’ right to be forgotten (having their personal data deleted altogether) or right to access their personal data, for example. Some other points to consider:

Update staff and applicants with privacy notices

Under GDPR, you will have to update your staff and applicants with privacy notices that specify what is the purpose of the processing and what is the legal basis for such processing, and whether you will be transferring their data out of the EU.

Transfer personal data out of the EU

HR will have to implement a lawful mechanism to transfer personal data out of the EU (for instance, by adopting Binding Corporate Rules, using Standard Contractual Clauses or by only transferring data to ‘adequate’ destinations or under the US Privacy Shield.

Notify the data protection authorities

Data controllers, meaning persons or companies making the decision to launch data processing and overseeing the means by which personal data is processed, must notify the Data Protection Authorities within 72 hours of being made aware of a personal data breach unless there is no risk to the rights and freedoms of individuals. Failure to report within this timeframe may result in fines.

Document and demonstrate compliance

HR will be expected to document and demonstrate compliance with GDPR, such as being able to provide a registry of applications, processes, and categories of data being processed by your organization.

This adds up to a lot of new responsibility for HR leaders to ensure compliance and avoid penalties. GDPR will require more of HR’s time, more technology and possibly even more personnel.

Binding Corporate Rules – the Best Path to Protect Your Global Employee Data

If your company transfers personal data out of the European Union, you must choose a lawful mechanism for compliance under the GDPR. The Regulation explicitly recognizes Binding Corporate Rules (BCRs) as an appropriate safeguard for transfers of personal data out of the EU. The region’s Data Protection Authorities also recognize BCRs as the best path to compliance with the GDPR’s accountability obligations.

Protecting Your
Personal Data Globally ›

Ahead of the GDPR’s becoming law in May 2018, ADP gained the European Union regulators’ approval to implement BCRs as both a data processor (covering the processing of clients’ data) and data controller (covering the data of our employees and other business associates). Only a very elite group of organizations have secured such approval and ADP’s decision to adopt BCRs reflects our absolute commitment to ensuring the highest standard of safeguards for our clients’, employees’ and business associates’ personal information.

As a BCR-approved data processor, ADP has been recognized by European regulators as a trusted and accountable custodian of your data within this new era of European data protection governance. We invite you to read through our brochure on Binding Corporate Rules to learn more about this recommended solution for transferring information about European data subjects that meets multinational business needs.

How an Outsourced HCM Solution Can Help

Given the complexity of compliance, it is not surprising that over three quarters of HR leaders are using GDPR and other data privacy legislation as a driver for seeking an outsourced HCM solution.

Why outsource? Your company may not have the technical expertise or resources to carry out the necessary changes ahead of GDPR, and outsourcing your HR data processing to a cloud-based HCM provider like ADP can go a long way toward reducing the burden of accountability. ADP has been preparing for GDPR for a long time, and can help our clients be positioned to meet the requirements of this demanding new age in European privacy protection.

As of March 2018, ADP ranks among an elite group of companies worldwide to have gained regulators’ approval to implement BCRs as both a data processor (covering the processing of clients’ data) and data controller (covering the data of our employees and other business associates).

We’re passionate about protecting the privacy of our clients’ and employees’ personal information at every stage – as we define, develop and refine our products and set the policies that govern how we gather and manage data every single day. Implementing Binding Corporate Rules illustrates our commitment to protect personal data in accordance with the standards required in the EU, regardless of where the European data is processed, accessed or hosted.

Carlos Rodriguez,
President and Chief Executive Officer, ADP

Watch our GDPR Webinar

Wherever you are on your GDPR compliance journey, you’re bound to benefit from this ADP-hosted webinar on what employers need to know about the GDPR. Learn about your new obligations as an employer doing business within the EU and make sure you’re on track to comply with these new European privacy principles.

Listen to the Latest Webinar:

Workplace Compliance Spotlight: What Employers Need to Know About The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

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