GDPR and HR: What You Need to Know

Power up your HR department's GDPR compliance

Improve your organisation’s GDPR HR compliance by adopting an electronic document management system. Managing files digitally removes the risk associated with many manual processes as you continue to navigate GDPR.

What Does GDPR Mean for HR in Practice? 

There has been a lot of discussion around the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) since its introduction in 2018. Often, GDPR is talked about from a general or holistic perspective, but what does GDPR mean for HR in practice? 

Remaining compliant with GDPR is a huge undertaking for HR teams. We’ve compiled a GDPR HR checklist to help you continue to navigate the regulations, now that we’re several years on from its introduction. 

What is GDPR?

GDPR is often referred to as the strictest set of data protection rules in the world. Under the General Data Protection Regulation, all personal data collected by an organisation needs to be processed, stored, and later deleted in accordance with the rules. If it’s found that an organisation is not compliant with GDPR, then they could face a significant fine, which can be up to £17.5 million or 4% of their annual turnover – whichever sum is greater.

The GDPR is designed to improve data protection, with individuals able to expect a certain level of protection for their personal information. They also have the right to find out what information an organisation holds about them, and to request to view this or have it deleted at any time – a task that typically falls to HR departments. So, what does GDPR mean for HR day-to-day? Let’s take a look.

What Does GDPR Mean for HR?

There are three main areas that HR teams need to focus on in order to remain compliant with GDPR. These are:

1. Not keeping files for longer than necessary

HR departments must ensure they do not keep any files for longer than necessary. Digital document management can help with this, making it easier to locate these files and prepare them for deletion or destruction when the time arises. 

The regulation doesn’t state how long files should be kept for; instead, data must be destroyed when it is no longer needed by your organisation and has been processed for its intended purpose.

2. Data must be collected for a legitimate purpose

Under GDPR, data must only be collected and stored if it’s for a specific and legitimate purpose. HR teams can no longer keep data on file just in case it might be needed in the future, or because it’s easier than destroying it. Instead, everyone must be informed how, why and for how long their data will be stored to support full GDPR HR compliance.

3. Individuals have stronger rights

Everyone has the right to request and access their data, and to have it erased under GDPR. For HR departments, this means that it must be easy to find and access this data at all times, so a clear, accessible filing system is required. Save time – and the associated costs – searching for data with an electronic document system.

GDPR HR Checklist

Every organisation’s GDPR HR checklist will look slightly different, depending on the nature of your business. However, there are some key steps for every HR department to follow to ensure ongoing compliance. These include:

  • Audit existing approaches to managing data and processes
  • Have a retention policy in place
  • Delete whole records once certain parameters are hit
  • Delete documents within active employee files when certain dates are hit, as required. For example, after three years, DBS checks made during the onboarding process will need to be destroyed
  • Be prepared to receive, refuse, accept and carry out in a timely fashion in line with Subject Access Requests (SARs)

How to Improve Your Organisation’s GDPR HR Compliance

Improve your organisation’s GDPR HR compliance by adopting an electronic document management system. Managing files digitally removes the risk associated with many manual processes as you continue to navigate GDPR. 

Digital document management can transform the relationship between GDPR and HR departments. Restore Digital is a DocuWare partner, and one of the key benefits of DocuWare is that it allows you to manage GDPR compliant documents, complete with an audit trail. Prove your compliance with visibility over who has accessed data where and when, and see when any data has been deleted.

Within your electronic file management system, you’ll be able to easily find documents when SARs are received, supporting your compliance with data regulations. You’ll also be able to tag files so that the system will alert you when they have met defined criteria, such as when the date you need to get rid of data is approaching, again helping your organisation to remain compliant. 

Want to learn more about the latest ways to stay compliant with GDPR for HR departments?

Contact our team today to discuss how our digital document management solutions can help your organisation.

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