The HR GDPR Divide: SD Worx survey reveals GDPR has polarised HR

Today SD Worx, the global HR and payroll service provider, revealed that out of 1,800 HR and payroll professionals, 44% do not know what the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is. However, of the 56% that are aware of the impending GDPR, 81% feel they will be ready by the May 2018 deadline.

The findings, conducted among nine European markets, show surprisingly polarised views when it comes to the new legislation.

Of the 56% of HR and payroll professionals that are aware of GDPR, the majority are collaborating with other departments or outsourcing providers. 84% of respondents revealed that they are getting help from other departments in the organisation, yet 73% believe that GDPR compliance would be easier if HR and payroll was outsourced. In addition, the survey found that 91% are likely to look for additional skills outside the organisation to help with GDPR preparation.

Of those that are aware of GDPR, 55% of respondents believe GDPR is a risk to the HR industry, leading them to implement various preparations. 68% of respondents are absorbing as much as possible on the subject and reviewing and updating all existing policies and processes related to data protection, and 49% are assessing the need for changes to current business relationships (including with data contractors).

Jean-Luc Barbier, International Managing Director at SD Worx, commented, “This survey has revealed the clear divide in the HR industry. Even though those who have heard of GDPR are preparing for GDPR and think they are likely to be ready by the deadline, the other half of the industry has not heard of GDPR. Therefore, you would assume that the ones who aren’t aware aren’t making the necessary changes to their department. It’s great to see that those who are aware are seeking skills to help them from a variety of sources, both internal and external. What this survey tells us though is that a significant amount of education still needs to be done.”

When it comes to GDPR-readiness in the nine markets, the survey also highlighted various differences between countries. For example, only 67% of respondents in Austria believe their HR team will be fully GDPR compliant by the deadline, whereas in Ireland the rate was 90%. In addition, when asked if outsourcing for the HR and payroll department will make becoming GDPR compliant easier, 56% of Swiss respondents said yes, whereas Belgium (85%) and the United Kingdom (73%) were much higher.

Although the HR industry seems to be polarised, for those who have heard of GDPR, the benefits are recognised. When asked what the key benefit of GDPR is in the HR and payroll industry, 71% believe improved data security will be the biggest benefit, whereas only 3% believe that GDPR will bring no benefits at all.

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