New Blog Post: Frightened of letting go?
With the advent of the new data protection bill coming into force on 25th May 2018 to incorporate the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) all businesses will need to undertake an audit of the data they hold – not just with regards to clients, but also about their staff. That might include the essential information such as bank account details so you can pay them, but may also include appraisal forms and reports on sickness absence. I know that this is likely to cause a problem for some people as they may not know where to start, but knowing what data you have and how you process it will be quite important for you to be able to comply with the requirements of the legislation.
One of the biggest problems I see is that it is too easy to keep every document that you generate – whether that is an email, a letter or a report. Deleting information or destroying documents has become something we have got out of the habit of doing – either because we think it may come in useful, or because we feel that it may be required for legal purposes; perhaps to defend an employment tribunal claim. We have almost got to the stage of being frightened to delete things. But keeping documents for too long is contrary to one of the eight principles of the current Data Protection Act (1998). It says that information about individuals should be kept no longer than absolutely necessary. Setting and keeping an appropriate document retention policy – either to meet statutory requirements or to be able to defend a claim is going to be important to ensure that your business can handle the expected increase in the number of employees requesting copies of their data, and the reduction of time within which you will have to provide that information.
So get started today and declutter; put in place a robust document retention policy and destroy/ delete those documents that fall outside its specifications. You may find it quite therapeutic – and it should save you physical archive space as well as free up some storage on your IT network. If you need help working out what you should keep and what to destroy, please get in touch.
Posted on 12 Feb 2018