Covid-19 & GDPR: Train Staff, Formulate Policy & Hire an Outsourced DPO/ Privacy Expert

Uncertainty is everywhere due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. Certain businesses need to close under government guidelines. Some may even be shutting down for good. The world is caught up in an unprecedented and bizarre era. But all is not lost. There are ways to remain hopeful and empowered during such a difficult time. Businesses can still survive and thrive if they are prepared and well equipped to adequately manage remote working strategies. 

While it may be a norm for some organisations to allow a day or two during the week where employees can work from home, it is very different for every business to practice this method. Remote working has become the new standard amidst the Covid-19 pandemic and some are labelling this as the “new normal”. If you require your staff to work from home then you can use this guide to help your staff and your organisation by training staff members to comply with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), formulate and implement policies & procedures to comply with data privacy regulations and appoint an outsourced Data Protection Office (DPO) or Privacy Expert to reduce any potential liabilities and mitigate risks that may arise as a result of remote working:

1. Train your staff in GDPR compliance

Equip your staff to understand their obligations under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) so that they can effectively deal with any privacy compliance issues. This does not mean you have to train them for litigation and self solicitation. But, you can allow them to take care of matters that have the potential of becoming problematic for your organisation. 

These matters include knowing how to effectively deal with and manage the processing of personal data under the GDPR. Just because the world is going through a challenging time does not mean that organisations can disregard data protection and privacy processes. And just because your employees are working from home does not mean that they can disregard these processes too.

Training staff to ensure GDPR compliance is a measure required from all organisations that are not used to employees working from home. The new normal can be made easier and legally safe. No business can afford to have added liabilities at this very difficult time. Ensure your staff remain valuable assets that can take care of all potential issues in the face of uncertainty with GDPR Staff eTraining.

In order for your staff to minimise any legal non-compliance risks and to avoid the mismanagement of personal data, you must train them on GDPR compliance. GDPR Staff eTraining is an online program designed to empower staff and teach them to become compliant. By completing this course, staff will gain knowledge and understanding of the responsibility of processing personal data and the role of a data controller as well as information as to what an organisation needs to do in order to become GDPR compliant. They will be assessed via an online test and will receive a certification on the successful completion of this test and training.

2. Take the lead in policy formulation

Leaders of an organisation must take the necessary strategic steps to engage their workforce in best practices during the roughest of times. The pandemic is no reason for employees to fall short in their work ethic. 

This means that you ought to tell your employees what you allow and disallow, Seer’s policy pack will help them in understanding their obligations and empower them to take responsibility. Clarify all potential privacy and management issues concerning the personal data that the employees will be accessing from the comfort of their home. Being proactive about the management of potential issues is what can help you the most during this time. 

3. Appoint an Outsourced Data Protection Officer (DPO) or Privacy Expert

As an employer, you do not have to do everything on your own. Hiring the right people who can help you by ensuring compliance with data privacy requirements and protect your organisation is all that you need to do. There is no need to bring this person in-house if this does not meet your requirements and instead you can outsourced this to an expert who can work remotely to look out for the interests of your organisation. In order to avoid hefty fines, you will need to hire an Outsourced Data Protection Officer (DPO) or Privacy Expert which is a cost-efficient, flexible and practical option. This can help you in limiting the staff workload and ensuring compliance with privacy regulations even during the pandemic. The ICO has clearly stated that it will be lenient with compliance delays, but a total lack of regard will not be tolerated.

Data Protection Officer

Lockdown November 2020

Now that the UK is under another lockdown due to an increase in the emerging second wave of COVID-19, firms will be expected to continue to offer their employees to work from home. As mentioned above, this is going to need training and proper guidance through a DPO. The training can help in ensuring compliance even when the employees work from home. While a DPO helps by ensuring that no issues are left to chance. So, should you need a WPH policy this time, then you can quickly create one with Seers. Save time, optimise your team and reduce the chances of violations. Remember that Seers is always here to help you.

As employees work from home, you will not be able to monitor them as well as you might have done when they were in the office. This is why it is essential to remove uncertainty through the implementation of clear-cut policies and procedures, training staff members on complying with the GDPR and utilising an Outsourced Data Protection Officer (DPO) or Privacy Expert to help you with your privacy compliance efforts.