Impact of the data reform bill on payroll professionals

21 June 2022

One of the bills announced in the queen's speech last month was the data reform bill. After having left the European Union, the government wants to take a new approach to data protection and data sharing regulations.

All payroll departments directly deal with personal and sensitive information and data protection is a crucial part of payroll professionals' responsibilities. Naturally, if the framework of data protection regulations changes, the way payroll professionals use, share or store data may be affected. 

One of the upcoming changes is the modernising of the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO). This is the executive, non-departmental government body which upholds data rights and promotes data privacy and openness by public bodies. The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has announced that the ICO will have a chair, chief executive and board. This is expected to bring ease to the decision making process and will allow the ICO's responsibilities to be broadened. New statutory codes and guidance will be introduced by ICO as reform begins.

DCMS has also outlined that the reforms will intend to reduce the burden on businesses. Instead of a tick-box approach, there will be a focus on outcomes. Some small businesses will be exempted from the responsibility to hire an independent Data Protection Officer (DPO), if they can manage risks effectively themselves. Privacy management programmes for how personal data is processed will still be a requirement and standards will remain but there will be more flexibility in how the standards are met.




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