Get ready for the new EU data protection law

WORKPLACE RIGHTS: Businesses need to start planning now for the 2018 data legislation as the financial penalties for non-compliance are steep.

by Michael Burd and James Davies
Last Updated: 24 Feb 2016

Political agreement has been reached on an EU-wide data protection law designed to create a 'one-stop shop', with a common set of rules applying across the continent. This will effectively replace the UK's current Data Protection Act.

The law bites on any area in which a business processes data on individuals (eg, customers, suppliers, users of a website). But it is probably in relation to employees that businesses process most data, in terms of both its range and quantity.

Importantly, the regime is backed up by a much fiercer penalty regime than presently applies. The maximum penalty for non-compliance will be 20m or 4% of an undertaking's worldwide turnover, if that is higher. This is likely to focus minds at board level in most organisations.

While the new legislation will not be implemented until 2018, extensive forward planning and preparation will be required. From the top down, organisations need to embrace a culture of taking data protection responsibilities seriously and should start identifying the policies, processes and training they will need to put in place to ensure compliance.

Michael Burd and James Davies work at Lewis Silkin LLP solicitors. Email them at:

Find this article useful?

Get more great articles like this in your inbox every lunchtime

A mini case study in horizon scanning

Swissgrid has instituted smart risk management systems for spotting things that could go wrong before...

Interview ghosting: Stop treating job seekers like bad dates

Don’t underestimate the business impact of a simple rejection letter.

5 avoidable corporate disasters

And the lessons to learn from them.

Dressing to impress: One for the dustbin of history?

Opinion: Businesswomen are embracing comfort without sacrificing impact. Returning to the office shouldn't change that....

How to motivate people from a distance

Recognising success in a remote or hybrid environment requires a little creativity, says Insight SVP...

What pushy fish can teach you about influence at work

Research into marine power struggles casts light on the role of influence and dominant bosses...