Help with GDPR
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If you are a business owner or a senior person in an SME business, then I’m sure you will have heard of the GDPR.

Even more than that, it may have kept you awake at night for many months wondering what it’s all about, and how on earth you can become compliant?!

There seems to be a lot of scaremongering, driven by a lack of detailed knowledge on exactly what does it mean for UK businesses and exactly what SMEs need to do to become compliant.

…and just about every law firm we know is running some kind of seminar on it, and of course wants to help you become compliant….for what might be quite a sizeable fee of course!

After looking at what GDPR is and how it could affect the HR industry, it’s time to focus on how Immerse can help you with becoming GDPR-compliant.

So what is GDPR in a nutshell?

Well in short, the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) is about the protection of personal data, and is an EU directive that comes into effect of 25th May of this year.

But it’s not as if data protection is something new in the UK; we already have pretty rigorous data protection laws, it’s just that the GDPR will intensify, clarify and broaden them, as well as ramping up the penalties for non-compliance.

So whilst we can’t claim to solve everything about GDPR for you, it may well be that we can give you a really cost effective and simple solution around one of the main areas that must be considered, how you securely store your employee data.

So what’s the problem?

You’ll almost certainly be storing your employee data in either hard copy, a digital format or a mixture of the two. Many SMEs however are in the potentially worrying position of holding employee data in a variety of very unsecure ways.

So you may well have hard copy records stored in files, draws or filing cabinets.  You may have data stored in Word documents or Excel spreadsheets, stored on individual computers or a central on site server.

You may even have video clips of your employees at work, or other data viewed as ‘sensitive’ such as bank details, National Insurance numbers, or demographic data around religious beliefs, disabilities or ethnic origin.

GDPR HR data storage
GDPR’s arrival is causing headaches for businesses whose employee data isn’t all stored in one place (image courtesy of Camila Rueda Lopez)

Whatever you have, and however and wherever you store it, there are some key questions to ask yourself, which your data protection policy should clearly state.  One of these questions is what data do you hold (in this case on your employees), and how secure is that data?

Hard copy documents left on desks, in draws or in unlocked filing cabinets are all a minefield for SMEs. Furthermore, these documents are usually held on paper as there is insufficient IT infrastructure to hold them all digitally in the first place.

Your business may however have already gone largely paper free.  This is great, for the environment, but may not be great for your compliance to the GDPR.  Electronic copies of documents are still subject to the same ‘red face test’ that hard copy ones are.  What data do you keep, where, how, for how long and how secure is it?

So unless you are up to the minute with the latest off site servers, with proper firewalls, proper processes and policies for data storage and deletion and everything else, its likely there will be some risks in your business which could, if left unchecked, cost you dear.

So what’s the solution, and how can Immerse help?

Well, what if you could move to an entirely paper free approach, and hold all your data digitally?  What if you could then rest assured that all that data was held securely in the cloud, backed up in the cloud and almost ‘bullet proof’ in terms of its security with a proper audit trail?

And what if each employee could have password protected access to their data, much of it self-serviced, accessible from anywhere they may be, with line managers able to see their team’s data as well as their own, and your HR department (if you have one) able to see everything?

Well guess what….you can.

Immerse is a web based software application, accessible for each user via a user name and password.  Its purpose is to make your people information and activities much easier to manage, by storing it all in one secure place.  But here’s the thing, it also helps you make major strides in GDPR compliance because of the secure storage and password protection that we have built into it.

So it takes some of the headache away, for really very little effort or investment on your part.

And furthermore, you can have it almost straight away, ready to go in a matter of days if you really want to.  And it will cost you much less than you think, from just £1 per user per month for Immerse.

You can extend this of course and upgrade to our premium version which includes a whole host of additional features; for instance your whole performance management process online, so objective setting, behavioural framework, 1:1 reviews, formal appraisals, and personal development plans.

These are all critically important parts of bringing about great people performance, but they are also prime personal data issues that must be treated with respect, and stored securely.

You can ask for a free demo of our software, and sign up for a free 14 day, no obligation trial.  Either way, if you make this easy switch, you’ll be glad you did, as its one more important thing off your ‘to do’ list.

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