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GDPR

What Will The GDPR Mean For SMEs In Ireland?

GDPR

With the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) coming into effect from May 2018, it’s time to ask is your company is truly GDPR ready?

 

By simply looking at online job boards, we can clearly see a number of large multi-national organisations increasing their recruitment efforts within Data Protection, Data Management/Governance and Compliance as well as IT Security, Database Development, IT Risk and Audit. However many SMEs are yet to take the plunge.

 

THE GDPR & SMEs 

Many companies across Ireland and the UK are yet to realize that the new data protection laws – specifically the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) are applicable to all organisations regardless of their size.

As the GDPR is designed to increase and protect the rights of the consumers, companies need to be asking themselves if they are compliant or risk facing penalties up to €20,000,000 or 4% of the gross annual turnover.

Even though SMEs will be subject to the main elements of the legislation as larger organizations, there are some exemptions as well as some benefits for smaller businesses.

 

Benefits for SMEs

It would be fair to say that some people see The GDPR as more “Red Tape” coming in from the EU, however the new regulations will offer a significant boost to SME exporters within Ireland.

In short, the GDPR will mean that instead of having to ensure you are compliant with 28 different laws in relation to data protection, there will be now one universal rule that applies to all states within the EU. Some states may opt to have stricter restrictions but in essence all legislation will be the same.

This therefore means that smaller companies who are planning on exporting to multiple states within the EU may see a reduction in their costs as well as less red tape as the process will now be standardised.

It also means that companies as well as consumers have the added reassurance that the data they have supplied to companies operating within the EU will be handled in the same manner as it would be if the company was operating solely within Ireland.

 

Exemptions for SMEs

As aforementioned, under the new GDPR outlined by the European Commission, there will also be a few exemptions given to SMEs.

  1. Unless the core activities of the company involve processing special categories of personal data (racial, ethnic, religious beliefs etc.) or they are processing large quantities of data; the company will not be required to appoint a full-time data protection officer.
  2. Unless the SME is processing data regularly or at risk of breaching the rights and freedoms of the data subject, they will not be required to keep records of how they process data.
  3. If the data breach is considered “minor” and does not represent a high risk for the rights and freedoms of the data subject, SMEs will not be obligated to report the breach. If, however the breach is considered to have a major impact on the data subject, they will be required to report the breach to all affected individuals.

 

To conclude, the GDPR brings some welcomed changes in how private information is handled however to ensure that companies avoid what could potentially be costly mistakes, the European Commission is urging all businesses, regardless of size, to ensure that they are ready and fully compliant for the implementation of the regulation that will take place May 25th 2018.

 

Claire Kelly is a Recruitment Consultant with the IT team in Dublin. Email: ckelly@sigmar.ie | Tel: +353 1 4744637  

Posted by Claire Kelly, Recruitment Consultant, IT on 7 December 2017

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Irish jobs market reaches 20-year high, as office re-entry drives unprecedented levels of recruitment activity

Irish jobs market reaches 20-year high, as office re-entry drives unprecedented levels of recruitment activity

Sigmar Recruitment today reports a record high number of job placements over April, May, and June 2021. The number of placements during this period is higher than any other quarter in the recruitment company’s 20-year history. Current figures are up 6% on the previous record set in 2019 before the pandemic. As one of the largest recruiters in Ireland, Sigmar has offices across the country and is present in all professional sectors. The first half of the year saw strong, consistent growth with job placements breaking all records in the month of May, with June accounting for the second-highest month ever. Commenting on the rebound of the labour market, Sigmar founding Director, Robert Mac Giolla Phádraig says: “The jobs market in Ireland has never been stronger or more buoyant than it currently is. We’re seeing several macro trends converge all at once, which is creating significant churn in the market. Remote working has literally opened up a world of new opportunities no longer bound by location. This is coupled with a rising tide of consumer confidence, as many professionals find themselves in a stronger financial position than before the pandemic. “The last 18 months has asked big questions of us all, and the humdrum of lockdown has created a desire for change which is now resulting in unprecedented numbers of people moving jobs. Employee loyalty is increasingly under question, with remote work being less enjoyable, many workers are now committed to the experience of work over the employer, adding further to the current levels of churn.” IT accounted for one-third of all job placements throughout the quarter, followed in order by Financial Services, Sales & Marketing, Accountancy, Life Science & Manufacturing, Office Support, Public Sector, Construction, Professional Services. Business confidence has also grown steadily over the course of the year, as vaccination gathered momentum. The “low-touch economy” is booming is sectors such as e-commerce, digital, and logistics. Says Mac Giolla Phádraig: “The resurgence of permanent recruitment is somewhat unique to how we’ve rebounded from previous downturns, where we typically saw flexible work return quicker.” Although the vast majority of job placement in Q2 were understandably remote, Sigmar reports that the tide is beginning to change with the majority of employers now committing to hybrid work over the coming three months. Mac Giolla Phádraig advises: “As we now choose our workplaces, at a time when the power dynamic has shifted to the employee, employers need to ensure adequate work practices to reconnect the workforce with the workplace equitably. There is an inherent risk that new workforce inequities may emerge, such as “proximity bias”, where those closest to the centre of influence get greater recognition and therefore promotion opportunities as opposed to remote workers. When it comes to individual contribution the opposite could be argued that remote workers get the benefit of having less in-office distractions and their output is therefore greater.” Mac Giolla Phádraig likens remote work to long-distance relationships, which in many cases don’t work out. “We’ve gone from “living” with our employees in an office environment to long-distance relationships, which often sees commitment recede over time. The context of location also opens up new experiences and possibilities, which are now being explored on a scale never before seen.” He adds, “if we thought the war for talent was tough, just wait for the battle of attrition. It’s now emerging as the number one challenge for businesses across the globe.”