Things for Employers to consider in 2021

Adapting to working from Home Responsibilities

As employers continue to adapt to increased remote working, it is important to look at any risks to employers. The first step would be to have a strong Home Working Policy.
Recent surveys reveal online sexual harassment has increased, as women continue to suffer sexual harassment whilst working through the Covid-19 pandemic. 72% of the women surveyed experiencing sexual harassment at work stated they do not feel their employer is doing enough to protect them from sexual harassment that is occurring online.

Advice for employers: Employers should be mindful that just because employees are working remotely, this does not mean that the existence of harassment has diminished. If anything with possible reduced levels of supervision, remote working can create an enhanced risk of harassment as some employees may think they can get away with more things. Employers must ensure that any potential victims of remote harassment have the confidence to come forward. Now could be a useful time for Employers to provide refresher training on harassment, discrimination and victimisation. Please contact us if you would like a quote for us to undertake this form of training.

Data Protection considerations

2021 is likely to be a busy year for Employers in the field of Data Protection.

Some key areas that Employers ought to be particularly focussing on include:

  • Ensuring appropriate data security – The UK Information Commission has made it clear that it is prioritising enforcement for data security breaches and the recent fine issued to BA demonstrates this (£20 million). We fully expect that this will be a priority action for the Jersey Information Commissioner as well. Businesses should consider: reviewing existing cybersecurity infrastructure and other data security policies and procedures in place.
  • Data Sharing – this is particularly topical in light of the recent EU Schrems II judgment. For more information on this judgment please refer to our joint briefing with BDO which can be found here. We understand that guidance is in the process of being drafted both at an EU level and hopefully at a local level on this judgment and Employers should look out for this, digest the contents and take advice if required.
  • Employee data and monitoring. This is more important with increased numbers of employers having a remote workforce. Key things for employers to think about include:
    i. Taking the time to review employee privacy policies, BYOD guidance, security policies
    ii. Undertaking refresher training in relation to data security and privacy
    iii. Looking at how it can demonstrate accountability of their obligations under the Data Protection Laws with a more remote workforce
    iv. Consider reviewing existing and introducing new employee monitoring processes
    v. There is also an eagerly awaited judgment from the ECJ regarding in what circumstances an employer can terminate the employment of a data protection officer (we will keep you posted).
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