Data Reform Bill to shake up GDPR

18 May 2022

On 10 May 2022, Prince Charles gave the Queen’s Speech, providing insights into the plans of the current UK government and the bills they plan to enact. One such bill this year, the Data Reform Bill, seeks to replace the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in the UK.

Details released after the speech state that the current ‘UK General Data Protection Regulation and Data Protection Act 2018’ is “highly complex and prescriptive pieces of legislation”. The aim of the new bill would be to allow a more flexible approach, focusing on outcomes such as data protection rather than ‘tick box’ exercises.

For many payroll professionals, GDPR is something that is now ingrained into the day-to-day processes and operations of businesses. Creating new data protection regulations will have a large impact on how businesses across the UK operate.

There is also substantial risk, once agreed the new regulations will still need to fulfil standards set by the European Union (EU) on data protection. If they do not, then the UK risks having its adequacy agreement revoked, causing significant data sharing barriers. Businesses operating in both the EU and UK may face serious issues as a result.

The government has yet to respond to the consultation “data: a new direction” which closed on 19 November 2021. The consultation sought views on how a new data protection regime could support the economy, maintain high standards and innovate businesses of all sizes across the UK.

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