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Prettys Solicitors Ipswich
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Transport Employment Updates

July 2017

The General Data Protection Regulation

There are significant changes on the horizon for the UK’s current data protection regime. The EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”) will replace the current regime (contained in the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA 1998)) on 25 May 2018.

UK-based businesses may be wondering whether this new regime will be relevant after Brexit. However, the Government has indicated that even post-Brexit, it will adopt a regime mirroring that contained in the GDPR so as to ensure harmonisation with EU states, on the basis that this is amenable to conducting business efficiently and effectively. There are potentially very costly fines for getting it wrong, so we urge businesses to act now and to not delay in their preparations for next year.

The GDPR will apply to data “processors” and “controllers” and to personal data about individuals who are based within the EU. Therefore, shipping companies that employ EU subjects, or deliver goods and/or offer services to EU subjects, should make sure that they are ready to comply.

Changes to note include the grounds on which processing of data will be lawful. In particular, an individual’s consent will be much harder to validly obtain than under the current regime. A data subject’s consent to the processing of their personal data will also be revocable.

Of particular relevance to the shipping industry will be the issue of expanded territorial scope of the new regime. The GDPR’s “bite” will reach further. Currently, data controllers and processors are subject to the EU’s data protection regime (incorporated into UK law via the DPA 1998) if they are based in the EU. However, under the GDPR, businesses will be caught even if they are based outside the EU, provided that they offer goods or services to data subjects in the EU or if they monitor certain behaviours of data subjects within the EU.

Each business will deal with one “lead” supervisory authority, which will be responsible for dealing with data protection issues, including the reporting of breaches. In the UK, this will continue to be the ICO.

Rest breaks for drivers of heavy goods vehicles

EU rules (Regulation (EC) 561/2006) apply to drivers of most vehicles used for the transportation of goods where:

Such drivers must take an uninterrupted break of 45 minutes at least every 4.5 hours, unless the 4.5 hours has already included a rest period. Alternatively, a full 45 minute break can be replaced by one break of at least 15 minutes followed by another break of at least 30 minutes. However, it will be crucial that these two shorter breaks are distributed over the 4.5 hour period.

The driving time limit for these drivers is 9 hours in any 24-hour period, but can be increased to 10 hours twice in a week if a second 45-minute break is taken over the course of the 10 hours. Extra considerations may also need to be taken into account for night workers.

In addition, employers should be clear on what time constitutes “working time” and keep clear records of worked hours so that they can demonstrate compliance with daily and weekly rest periods and/or night work limits (where applicable). (Source: Gov.ukGuidance)

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