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EU and UK data protection bridge: Update

EU and UK data protection bridge: Update

My last article, EU and UK data protection bridge, was published on 24 June 2021. At that time, we were uncertain whether the European Union would grant the UK a finding of adequacy. It turned out that the decision was made only a few days later, on 28 June 2021.

The good news is that the UK did get the adequacy finding we needed. The wobbly bridge between us has been replaced!

The new data protection bridge covers two areas:

– EU GDPR

– Law Enforcement Directive

Barring any upsets, both findings last until 27 June 2025.

However, there is one exception, as the new data protection bridge doesn’t cover certain categories of immigration data.

This article tells you more.

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EU and UK data protection bridge

EU and UK data protection bridge

Now that the UK has left the EU, we are automatically considered a ‘third country’, that is, an outsider to the EU arrangements over data protection.

Anyone within Europe who sends or receives data to a third country needs to ensure that additional protections are in place. They are not allowed to rely on the laws of that third country, *unless* the EU has made a ‘finding of adequacy’ under which that country can be treated as though it is within the EEA.

To allow time for the finding of adequacy to be considered and granted to the UK post-Brexit, a ‘bridge’ (transition period) was put in place which would allow business to continue as usual. This bridge expires on 30 June 2021 when everyone anticipated it would be replaced by finding of adequacy as a long-term arrangement between the EU and the UK covering data protection and the transfer of personal data.

Many people assumed that the finding of adequacy would be a simple process. However...

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“Who pays the piper calls the tune”

“Who pays the piper calls the tune”

If you’re a regular reader, you might recognise this advice. But the message bears repeating, because I see the problem quite often.

In a nutshell, you’re best protected by legal agreements when the solicitor who drafts them is on your side – that means you pay their fee, and they work for you. If not, and you allow someone else to cover the cost, you leave yourself at risk.

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Directors. Do you understand your responsibilities around company accounts?

Directors. Do you understand your responsibilities around company accounts?

You probably know that company accounts need to be filed at Companies House for each financial year. You may also know that directors are required to approve the accounts before they are filed.

While the board is usually unanimous, this is not required, and accounts can be filed on a majority basis. However, whenever agreement is less than unanimous, there are always issues.

This article relates to private limited companies in the UK, not listed or quoted companies, and explains your responsibilities and risks.

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Queen’s speech 2021: What businesses and companies need to know

Queen’s speech 2021: What businesses and companies need to know

In her first major public engagement since Prince Philip’s death, Her Majesty announced a number of new bills which are on the Government’s legislative plan for the coming session of Parliament. This article gives a brief overview of the aspects that are relevant to anyone running a company or a business.

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Employment status and IPR

Employment status and IPR

My recent article The importance of employment status, shared some thoughts on why you need to clearly and correctly identify the status of each individual involved with your business, whether they are employees, workers or self-employed. In that article, the focus was mainly on whether the payment and tax deductions you’re making would pass muster with HMRC.

This article is about the possible implications of employment status on the ownership of what may be the key assets of your business. That is, the intellectual property rights (IPR), which may be in your branding, your reports or other documents and/or in software you’ve paid to have developed by or for your business. There are other types of IPR, such as performance rights and patents, but we will look primarily at copyright here.

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Getting the best out of your NEDs

Getting the best out of your NEDs
  • Do you run a Small or Medium Enterprise (SME)?
  • Does your board include Non-Executive Directors (NEDs)?
  • Want to know how to get the best out of them?

Non-Executive Directors (NEDs) are increasingly a feature of smaller companies for various reasons.

Sometimes an NED will lend experience and professionalism to ambitious startups where the other directors lack corporate experience. Sometimes they can add a balanced independent voice among the directors of a family company. Sometimes, they provide sector-specific expertise and connections.

Including one or more NEDs on your company’s board can be a very sensible step and many of my clients successfully use the expertise and experience this makes available.

This article applies to unlisted limited companies which are not subject to the UK Corporate Governance Code that formally applies to listed companies. However, many aspects of that code have filtered into the governance culture of unlisted companies.

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The importance of employment status

The importance of employment status

It’s important for you to know the employment status of the people who work in and around your business. One key reason is that you might be responsible for PAYE and NI. If you fail to make the right deductions from payroll and the correct payments to HMRC, you are liable to back tax, interest and penalties. So there is a lot of risk if you are not absolutely clear about the status of your team members.

Rules around this have been updated a number of times. This article covers the latest guidance from HMRC.

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Will frozen GDPR keep your data flowing?

Will frozen GDPR keep your data flowing?

As far as I can recall in the run up to Brexit, data flows did not capture many of the media headlines. Perhaps understandably, topics that got more airtime included fishing, food, travel documents and queues of export lorries.

However, in our modern data-driven world, it’s just as critical to know how and where data flows between UK and Europe, and the levels of privacy and other rules that apply to that flow.

This article looks at the post-Brexit changes which cover personal data, specifically, about how and where that data can be transferred.

This matters hugely, both to businesses, and to anyone who wants to understand the level of privacy protections that apply to any given flow.

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Legal agreements: What NOT to do

Legal agreements: What NOT to do

Some people build their own legal agreements with the help of that famous author Mr Copy N Paste, using scraps they find on the websites of their competitors. Or they buy a £10 template off the internet, created by that well known provider, Mrs Graspa Cheapskate.

You never want to use an agreement like this.

The problems sparked by these two characters are often pretty serious and unpleasant – and they are wholly avoidable.

I recommend that, if you are considering their individual or collected works, you remind yourself that your business and your team deserve something better than that. What you really need is a standard agreement that has been developed around your business, to fit you like a tailored suit.

(This article is part 2 of 2.)

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