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GDPR - What are we doing to get ready?

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GDPR – What are we doing to get ready?

Since the Data Protection Act 1998 was introduced, the world has changed…..just slightly. Smartphones, Webcams, Apps, Email Marketing, Voice Recognition, Facial recognition, Facebook…..the list goes on. Yes I know at this point you are thinking, yes granddad, it’s called technology and life moves on! And you’re right.

However, the main point here is, the Data Protection Act is simply not fit for purpose in our technology filled lives. It’s nearly 20 years old! Yep, back in the good old days, when you had to use a pencil to rewind your cassette tapes. (ah, to be a millennial)

GDPR is being introduced on 25th May 2018 and will change the way we use and store personal data completely! I’m not going to write paragraph after paragraph of boring jargon until you are bored to tears, I’m just going to highlight some of the key points in the new legislation, which should be confirmed by the Government early next year. This will be just a small extract, so if you want the full details, head over the ICO website:

What are the key points?

“Rights of individuals under the GDPR”:-
·         Consent – OK, so this is the big one. Under GDPR and individual now needs to give their consent for you to be able to process and store their personal data. Without your consent, they can’t use it.

But there are exceptions. Organisations can also process personal data where the processing is necessary:

1.    In relation to a contract which the individual has entered into

2.    Because the individual has asked for something to be done so they can enter into a contract

3.    Because of a legal obligation that applies to the data controller

4.    To protect the individual’s vital interests (this only applies in cases of life or death)

5.    For administering justice, or for exercising statutory, governmental, or other public functions

6.    The processing is in accordance with the ‘legitimate interests’ condition


Right to withdraw consent – Unless there is a legal/contractual requirement for your personal data to be processed and stored, you can withdraw consent at any time in writing

Right to be informed – You have the right to ask why your personal information is needed, on what basis, how it will be stored, etc

Right to data portability – This simply means that any information you have given to the data controller can be transferred to another party at your request at any point.

Right to object – You have the right to object to the processing of your personal data and sensitive personal data, should there not be a legal/contractual reason for it to be processed


What are Sheldon Phillips doing in preparation for GDPR?

As a recruitment company, there is already a ‘legitimate interest’ for us to process your personal data, as if you come to us looking for a job, unless we can process your personal data…the search won’t go very far! However, as we provide Qualified Social Workers into the public sector – local government for example – and the work involves working with vulnerable children and adults, we have legal/contractual obligation to conduct background checks to verify your suitability to work in such a post.

To ensure that your data is completely secure, we file all of your documents within our CRM which is called BOND Adapt UX. BOND store your documents on their secure servers which are not onsite with us in our offices, giving you added comfort that if anything happens to our servers, your information is safe at all times.

We complete weekly back ups of data, which is stored in our own cloud device which is securely encrypted.

We’ve also appointed a Data Protection Officer, which will be announced in due course, so if you ever have any concerns or questions, they will be available to help.

This is of course a big change to how we use and process data, but by putting all of this in place now, we will be 100% ready for the deadline next year. We have always treated personal data correctly and securely, so you can rest assured we have the best available systems to handle things.

If you have any questions or queries about GDPR, give us a call and we will do our best to talk you through everything.


Uncompliant Umbrella Companies: A Change in Law

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Uncompliant Umbrella Companies: A Change in Law

Uncompliant Models

When the IR35 changes were made in the public sector in April 2017, many public sector workers including lots of Social Workers felt that a huge weight had been put onto their shoulders.  The weight of HMRC trying to make up a huge void in unpaid or avoided tax which was created in part by the confusion around IR35 and running a PSC when it was first introduced in 2000.  After months of finding their feet, after these changes, another very real threat has emerged - Umbrella Companies appearing as if by magic, offering the holy grail.....90% take home pay!  Now you might be thinking, "Yes! My prayers have been answered!" but believe me, this couldn't be further from the truth.

Most people know, or should, that the UK basic rate of tax is 20% and so the more you earn, that banding moves into a higher rate of tax.  So how on earth can an Umbrella Company tell me I only have to pay 10% tax?  One answer......Tax Avoidance.  These schemes come in many forms with "grey areas" and "loop holes" touted to try and uphold their compliance with HMRC.  The truth is, if you are using an Umbrella Company that pays you a small hourly rate or weekly wage, which is then topped up by a bonus, commission or even a loan - you could be in trouble.  If any of this sound familiar, head over the HMRC website and search "Spotlight" where you can find more information.

The safest way to work and ensure that you are paying the correct taxes (and avoid a tax bills and penalties) is to use an FCSA accredited Umbrella Company.  These Umbrella's have been audited to ensure they are making the right decisions and that you pay all of the right taxes to the Government.  Here at Sheldon Phillips, we have created a small PSL of FCSA accredited Umbrella companies, so you can be sure that whatever money you take home at the end of the week, is yours to spend without fear of any wrong doing.

A Change in the Law

You may have noticed that Recruitment Agencies have recently started to create PSL's of Umbrella Companies and have even asked you to change your current Umbrella.  This is because from 30th September 2017 a new criminal offense: Failing to prevent Tax Evasion was introduced.  Simply put, and without getting into too much legal jargon, this focuses on Recruitment Agencies or intermediary's in the chain to ensure that the contractor is paying the correct tax and national insurance contributions.  So in short, if an agency allow you to knowingly use a provider that evades paying correct taxes, they can be subject to huge fines and even a prison sentence!

Our stance

At Sheldon Phillips, we have taken the decision to create a small PSL of FCSA accredited Umbrella Companies, to ensure that all of our contractors are safe in knowing that all of the correct deductions are being made.  This list has been created through years of good service and plenty of due diligence done by Managing Director, Jamie Trick.  So when you work with us, you can sleep soundly, knowing that you are 100% compliant, 100% of the time.

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