ICO to offer GDPR helpline for small businesses

data-helpline

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) will launch a number of support features to help small businesses to prepare for the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

A dedicated phone service, to launch on 1 November 2017, will allow small businesses to get assistance directly from the ICO.

The service will be based around the ICO’s existing public helpline.

The ICO will also issue guidance adapted for small employers, including a version of its “12 steps to take now” guidance and a checklist for small businesses based on its current SME toolkit.

Information commissioner Elizabeth Denham said: “There are 5.4 million businesses in the UK that employ fewer than 250 people. When it comes to data protection, surveys show they tend to be less well prepared.

“We know that most businesses want to get things right but often struggle to find the key steps to get started. They also have less time and money to invest in getting it right. They may not have compliance teams or data protection officers or access to legal advice.

“The businesses may be small but they still hold important personal information and the need to gain the trust of their customers is just as real.”

Qian Mou, employment law editor at XpertHR, said: “These will be helpful resources for small employers, that often do not have the dedicated expertise to navigate the new GDPR requirements.

“At XpertHR, we have seen a demand for guidance for small employers and we hope that these materials will help to set expectations for such organisations.”

New data protection requirements under the GDPR come into effect across the UK on 25 May 2018.

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