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76pc of HR workers have breached GDPR in the past year, report finds

9 Oct 2023

One-third of the HR professionals surveyed said their team had a significant skills gap which hampered their ability to be GDPR-compliant.

A survey of 400 Irish-based HR professionals that was carried out in July of this year revealed the most common types of workplace GDPR breaches. The survey also showed that HR departments’ attitudes to GDPR were full of contradictions. Although the vast majority (90pc) of respondents said they had confidence in their ability to comply with GDPR, 76pc admitted that they had breached the regulations in the past year.

The report, compiled by Clare-headquartered HR software provider HRLocker, found that HR workers were struggling with the administrative tasks involved in staying GDPR-compliant. Almost two-thirds (62pc) said that the admin burden negatively impacted their ability to focus on other responsibilities such as employee wellbeing, talent acquisition and resource planning.

More than three-quarters (76pc) said the administrative aspects of GDPR compliance represented a challenge for their departments and 67pc reported increased resource allocation to meet GDPR compliance demands over the past 12 months.

Despite the challenges involved in staying on top of GDPR compliance, HR workers have to ensure they are on top of their duties in this regard, said Crystel Robbins Rynne, COO of HRLocker. “There can be no questioning the HR community’s commitment to GDPR compliance. However, our research shows that despite their best intentions, a lack of resources, training and tech enablement is leading to major implementation issues, negatively impacting employee privacy and exposing employers to major fines.”

According to the report’s data, more upskilling and more tech tools for administration could be the answer. HRLocker’s report found that one-third of professionals said their teams had a significant skills gap. “To successfully navigate the intricate GDPR landscape effectively, organisations must provide them with the tools and support necessary to make GDPR compliance a strategic advantage, all while safeguarding data protection,” Rynne added. Insufficient consent, failure to respond to Data Subject Access Requests and data retention and management problems were the most common GDPR breaches reported.

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Blathnaid O’Dea
By Blathnaid O’Dea

Blathnaid O’Dea worked as a Careers reporter until 2024, coming from a background in the Humanities. She likes people, pranking, pictures of puffins – and apparently alliteration.

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