Data protection and how personal data is managed is changing forever. On 25 May 2018 the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will come into force. The GDPR is a European privacy regulation replacing all existing data protection regulations.
The current data protection legislation in Ireland dates back to 1998 and 2003, predating current levels of internet usage and cloud technology, making it unsuitable for today’s digital economy.
The GDPR will apply to any personal data of EU cititzens, regardless of whether it is stored within or outside the EU. Most, if not all companies, process a level of personal data, whether it is customer details or employee details, therefore businesses need to be aware and plan for the new legislation.
What is Personal Data
The GDPR substantially expands the definition of personal data. Under GDPR, personal data is any information related to a person, for example a name, a photo, an email address, bank details, their personnel file, or a computer IP address.
Some of the key changes included as part of the GDPR include:
Consent must be clear, distinguishable from other matters and provided in an easily accessible form, using clear and plain language. It must be as easy to withdraw consent as it is to give it.
Breach Notifications: where a breach occurs, the Data Protection Commission and affected data subjects must be notified within 72 hours of the breach coming to light.
Data Subjects will have additional rights, including:
Ignoring the new legislation is ill advised as there are tough new fines for non-compliance. Companies or organisations found to be in breach of the legislation will face fines of up to 4% of annual global revenue or 20 million Euros, whichever is greater. The Data Protection Commissioner is the authority responsible for enforcing data protection obligations in Ireland. In preparation for the legislation, the Commission is doubling it’s workforce, leaving no doubt that they will be taking their new responsibilities extremely seriously.
If you have yet to start planning for GDPR click here for guidance on how to prepare.
The Low Pay Commission has recommended that the National Minimum Wage be increased by 30c per hour, from €9.25 per hour to €9.55 per hour from 1st January 2018. An employee working a 40 hour week will see their gross wage increase by €12.00 a week. Since 2011 this is the fourth increase in the national minimum wage.
In the report the Low Pay Commission has published it has explained with necessary data of its recommendation of the increase, including international competitive and risks to the economy research. In The Low Pay Commission’s findings submissions from interested parties and consultations with employees and employers in relevant economic sectors had taken place.
This increase will affect around 120,000 employees, increasing their national minimum wage by 3%. 10.1% of employees were earning the National Minimum Wage or less last year according to figures published from the Central Statistics Office last April.
While Taoiseach Leo Vardakar said ‘The Government welcomes the recommendation from the Low Pay Commission to increase the National Minimum Wage by 30c to €9.55 per hour’, the Programme for Government commitment for a minimum wage of €10.50 per hour is still a few steps off.
The 2017 Living Wage has been set at €11.70 per hour, up from €11.50 last year. The new figure represents an increase of 20 cent per hour on the previous rate. The recommended living wage rate is now nearly a third higher than the legally required minimum wage, which is set at €9.25 an hour.
The 20 cent increase in the Living Wage was arrived at upon consideration of a number of changes in the cost of living and the taxation regime in the last year. The Living Wage for the Republic of Ireland was established in 2014, and is updated in July of each year. It is part of a growing international trend to establish an evidence-based hourly income that a full-time worker needs so that they can experience a socially acceptable minimum standard of living.
Following the announcement in last October’s Budget 2016, Revenue entered a consultation on the modernisation of the PAYE system.
Revenue’s proposal is that employers will report pay, tax and other deductions at the same time as they process and finalise their payroll. Similar to Real Time Information (RTI) in the UK, details of employees starting or leaving employment will be reported on the date of commencement/cessation and will eliminate the filing of P30, P35 and P45 forms.
Although, many businesses across Ireland have broadly welcomed the forthcoming introduction, some smaller businesses have expressed concern about the additional administrative burden due to poor internet access and the additional hours it may involve. Many businesses will be a risk as they have not invested in payroll software where they calculate their payroll manually.
Last April Revenue disclosed that it received 77 submissions to the consultation which represented a broad range of interests, both from large and small companies. For larger employers, the transition will be relatively straightforward, but Revenue is looking at alternatives to accommodate smaller employers, in particular, those who may still process their payroll manually.
IBEC state that while most of its members welcome the change, it is important that the system is flexible. A professional services group also warned that the work involved for employers to prepare for the implementation of PAYE modernisation / Real Time Reporting (RTR) should not be underestimated.
BrightPay already has the experience and expertise in developing the same real time features and functions for our UK customers. We are already collaborating with Revenue to ensure the transition for our customers to Real Time Reporting (RTR) / PAYE modernisation is smooth, user-friendly and ready for implementation in January 2019.
For further information, Revenue have provided the following link: