How will new data protection rules affect recruiters?

19 Jun 2017


In just under a year from now, data protection rules are set to be strengthened significantly with the introduction of the new EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Aiming to give citizens control of their personal data, the GDPR will create a high level of data protection, fit for the digitised era of smartphones, social media, internet banking, and global transfers. So, what do these changes mean for recruiters and how is REC supporting the recruitment industry? We outline the key points below.

What is the EU GPDR?

The GDPR will introduce a number of new data protection obligations for organisations and rights for individuals. It comes into force on 25 May 2018 and will apply in the UK for as long as we are a member of the EU. It will also apply to businesses that fall outside of the EU but continue to provide goods and services to individuals from EU Member States.

It is unclear how the GDPR will be carried forward post-Brexit but indications from the government at this stage are that these new rules will be retained. It is therefore important that businesses get to grips with the changes and make preparations.

What does it mean for recruiters?

These new rules will have a significant impact on how recruiters process candidate and client data. Individuals will gain additional rights:

the right to be notified of a data breach the right to know how their data will be used the right to transfer their personal data to another provider the “right to be forgotten”, i.e., for all their personal details to be deleted. Businesses could be hit with penalties if they do not comply.

The regulation also introduces new rules around data sharing and security.

Recruiters and recruitment businesses handle significant amounts of personal data on a daily basis and so it is essential our industry is aware of these changes and begins preparing. Businesses could be hit with penalties if they do not comply.

What is the REC doing to support members?

The REC is in touch with the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) and we are working with our sister federations in Europe to get more information for members and to feed into guidance materials.

We have already produced a factsheet and FAQs, which members can access on our legal guide.

We are holding a webinar on the topic on 27 June which members can sign up to here or listen back to. Our legal helpline is also available to provide additional support.

Over the next 12 months, the REC will support members with a comprehensive programme of guidance, tools and workshops to help ensure our industry is ready for these changes. Further details on this will be released soon.

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