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Avoiding Data Breaches

During the last 12 months there have been around 150 data breaches reported to the ICO regulator; to put it in perspective this equates to a 100% increase in just two years.

Like it or not, all charities must comply with the GDPR; there are minimal carve-outs for the not-for-profit sector.  Therefore with GDPR now in full operation it is important to be aware of the duty of care charities owe in relation to their donors’ data and put steps in place to stop breaches happening wherever possible.

In June 2018 we saw GDPR in action for the first time as the British and Foreign Bible Society were fined £100,000 when they were struck by a ransomware attack. The ICO found that the trustees had not taken sufficient care regarding their cyber security responsibilities and left themselves as somewhat of an open target, which could have been prevented. As a result 400,000 donors’ personal data was compromised and the charity has consequently faced financial and reputational damage.

How can charities avoid a data breach?

Firstly, the phrase prevention is better than the cure is one that should be remembered when considering how to best protect your data and avoid any nasty surprises. It is important to be as transparent as possible with your supporters and inform them of how their data will be used and stored whilst providing them with the option of a quick and easy opt out should they change their mind about hearing from you.  The key is to have in place a simple and easy to read Privacy Notice available for review.

Also ensure that all your software is kept up to date and your firewalls are secure, so should a breach occur you can provide evidence to demonstrate that you took all necessary precautions.  

All of your staff, volunteers and contractors should be clear as to how you expect data to be managed and protected, and so you should communicate your expectations via a detailed internal Privacy Policy available to anyone engaged in your charity’s operations.

Managing Subject Access Requests within the law

If you receive a subject access request you are legally obliged to respond within one month of receiving it.  As an organisation it should be made as simple as possible for an individual to submit a request and you should categorise data in such a way that makes it straightforward to provide the individual with all relevant information your organisation holds on them.

If you have taken the steps to organise your data sufficiently and responsibly this won’t be an issue.

A few extra points to note when processing a subject access request are …

  • Blank out all exempt/irrelevant information where necessary
  • Verify the identity of the individual
  • Do not disclose anything that could be classed as confidential e.g. legal advice

For further information on subject access requests, The University of Edinburgh has written a very useful article for practitioners which you can read here.

Contacting individuals lawfully by electronic means

Remember that due to the fact that supporters and donors are not usually ‘purchasing’ products or services from a charity, charities can rarely rely on the ‘soft opt-in’ right to make contact / follow-up with individuals electronically (ie. email, SMS or text).  Therefore, even if the individual that you would like to contact by electronic means is considered to be an active supporter of your charity, sending a simple newsletter is something that could require consent because it could fall into the category or being ‘direct marketing’.

Should you need any further clarity on how to avoid data breaches, update privacy notices, policies or advice on GDPR or electronic marketing in general, please feel free to contact me directly via email: juliaseary@roythornes.co.uk

 

Essential travel letter

Laura Hill
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The Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) have produced a letter which can be used by workers in the food supply chain when travelling for work purposes. The letter can be found here: ...

Which charities can assist with the COVID-19 crisis

Julia Seary
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If you are contemplating assisting with the current crisis, you should first consider the terms of your charity’s existing charitable objects which are set out in your governing document. Objects that might already allow you to offer support include: ...

Coronavirus - Insolvency changes

Alex Forster
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On Saturday 28 March 2020 the Business Secretary, Alok Sharma, announced a range of interim relief that will become available for companies who, during the Covid-19 pandemic, face the difficult task of having to balance survival against the longer-term...

What is PPE and when should it be provided?

Rosie Reynolds
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Often when we think of personal protective equipment, we have visions of hard hats, steel toe capped boots and high-visibility vests. However, PPE is relevant in a whole host of situations outside a building site. We are hearing a lot about PPE across the...

Driving in bad weather - reducing the risks

Cristina Parla
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British Summer Time officially started on the last Sunday in March, but in another unprecedented event, many parts of the UK experienced temperatures below freezing and saw snow fall. Weather in general always sparks conversation, and whilst snow and ice...

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme - UPDATED

Desley Sherwin
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*Updated guidance has been provided on 27 March 2020 – this note includes that guidance* Who is eligible for the scheme? Any UK organisation with employees can apply, including: businesses charities recruitment agencies (agency workers paid...

Covid-19 - Self-employed workers to receive support package

Shola Khan
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The Government has announced yesterday (26 March 2020) the introduction of a package for self-employed individuals called the Coronavirus Self-employment Income Support Scheme. This is different to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) which was...

Coronavirus and your conveyancing transaction

Bhavesh Amlani
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Coronavirus has impacted on all our lives.  From Roythornes’ point of view, most of our staff are working from home and continuing to provide the high level of service for which we are known. We have received several questions about conveyancing...

How will the Coronavirus affect debt recovery?

Catherine Rickett
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With the current situation taking the country into a lockdown, we are being asked by our clients if we can still pursue debtors on their behalf. The easy answer to the question is yes , however careful thought and consideration should be given to the...

Coronavirus and your commercial tenants- guidance for farmers

Julie Robinson
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In this article we consider some of the options for farmers with small-scale commercial tenants whose businesses are affected by the developing coronavirus crisis. Many farmers have diversified into small-scale commercial lettings on their farms. In some...

Covid-19: Update - Emergency Volunteer Leave (EVL)

Desley Sherwin
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The Coronavirus Bill has not yet been enacted but we are expecting its provisions to be approved and brought into law imminently. One of the five key areas set out in the Bill relates to Emergency Volunteer Leave . What is Emergency Volunteer Leave? A...

Covid 19 and Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992 (TULRCA)

Shola Khan
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The Government announced the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme on 20 March 2020, which provides for grants of 80% of an employee’s salary up to a maximum of £2,500 per month in circumstances where otherwise the employee could expect to be laid-off...

Do I still need a MOT test during the coronavirus crisis?

Cristina Parla
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The Department for Transport has carried out a review of its guidelines in respect of MOT testing for cars, motorcycles and light goods vehicles.  Following the review, vehicle owners will be granted a 6-month exemption from MOT testing from 30 March...

Can a charity's reserves and restricted funds be utilised to help through the Coronavirus crisis?

Julia Seary
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Understandably, many charities are currently very concerned about their financial position.   As a priority, trustees should consider what are their short, medium and longer term priorities, and see if they need to amend their financial planning...

Can I invoke force majeure?

Julia Seary
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If you are considering whether a force majeure clause can assist in dealing with current circumstances, we have set out below a summary of the main points to consider.  The key take-away is not to assume that a standard force majeure sweeper/general...

Charity regulation during the coronavirus outbreak

Julia Seary
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The Charities Commission assured charities last week that their approach to regulation during this uncertain period will be as flexible and pragmatic as possible in the public interest, and they will be helping trustees to be aware of and think about the...

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme - updated 25 March 2020

Laura Hill
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The Chancellor announced last week, funding would be made available to cover a portion of wages where employees are laid off during the Coronavirus crisis. This is known as the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. What will the scheme do? In certain...

Covid-19: self-isolation notes

Desley Sherwin
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For those employees who have been advised to self-isolate due to coronavirus, either because they have symptoms or they live with someone who has symptoms, evidence of sickness absence can now be provided by ‘isolation note’. To produce an...

Coronavirus and the family courts - business as usual, but different

Neil Denny
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The family courts have explained that they will continue to deal with family law court appointments and hearings, but with some practical changes. There is now an assumption that they will be dealt with remotely, using email, conference call facilities or...

Ban on residential evictions - updated 25 March 2020

Joseph Mitchell
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The Government has announced that due to the ongoing COVID-19/coronavirus pandemic, there is to be a ban on all new possession proceedings for all residential tenancies for at least three months, whether it is social housing or privately rented. The draft...

IR35 reforms postponed

Shola Khan
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Following the current issues in the wake of Covid–19, the Government has announced that the reforms to IR35/off-payroll working rules will now be postponed by a year (from 6 April 2020 to 6 April 2021). What is IR35? The IR35/off-payroll working...

Cash flow even more critical than ever

Catherine Rickett
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With the coronavirus outbreak causing strain in the high street it’s even more important than ever to manage your cash flow.  In the last few days we have seen an increase in the number of enquiries from clients and potential clients asking how...

Coronavirus and your workers - guidance for farm businesses

Julie Robinson
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In this article we consider some of the issues facing farmers and grower employers in the light of the developing coronavirus crisis. Farms are not professional services firms where remote working may be an alternative to being physically present on site....

Coronavirus - information for businesses as at 13 March 2020

Desley Sherwin
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Published 16 March 2020. For a .pdf of this information please  click here A Pay and Sick Pay In what circumstances is SSP payable? The introduction of regulation 2(1)(c) Statutory Sick Pay (General) (Coronavirus Amendment) Regulations 2020 -...

Coronavirus - employment advice to businesses as at 13 March 2020

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Pay and Sick Pay   In what circumstances is SSP payable? The introduction of regulation 2(1)(c) Statutory Sick Pay (General) (Coronavirus Amendment) Regulations 2020 - with effect from today’s date - means that an employee who is in...

International Women's Day - are we 'on the road' to equality?

Cristina Parla
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We are fast approaching that time of year when we celebrate International Women’s Day (IWD).  This year, the marked event will take place on Sunday 8 March, but did you know it has been celebrated from as far back as 1911?   (I...

COVID-19 or "coronavirus": employment considerations

Shola Khan
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Published 5 March 2020   Further to our blog yesterday, there has already been up update:  sick pay for self-isolating workers. Workers will now receive statutory sick pay from their first day off work as opposed to the previous rules,...

'Compensation culture' or 'lessons to be learned'?

Robert Dempsey
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In response to the recent article in the Lincolnshire Reporter, (“Lincolnshire hospitals payout over £30 million for medical negligence”), and as a medical negligence solicitor at Roythornes, I felt the attached screenshot could not be more...

FAQs about flat lease extensions

Melissa Casey
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When I’m meeting with a client to discuss a lease extension, I can guarantee they ask me the same three questions: Why do I have to extend my lease? What is the process? How much will it cost me? A lot of buyers assume that when they purchased a flat,...

Separation agreements - are they binding or not?

Neil Denny
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Consider the case of MB v EB . The parties separated in 2004 after only three or four years of marriage. In 2011 they agreed a separation agreement where the husband, a struggling artist, received £245,000, from his wife, to purchase a property and...

Woodland Carbon Guarantee Scheme - legal considerations for farmers

Julie Robinson
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This blog highlights some legal considerations for landowners and tenant farmers to bear in mind when applying to the Government’s new Woodland Carbon Guarantee scheme (WCaG), supported by an associated woodland creation project. The long-term...

'Good Work Plan' update - 7 February 2020

Desley Sherwin
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With less than two months to go before the main provisions of the Good Work Plan come into effect, it’s time make sure you have everything ready. Firstly, a reminder of what has already been implemented: Two changes took effect on 6 April 2019: ...

FAQ: delayed or missed diagnosis of cancer

Robert Dempsey
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In honour of World Cancer Day, medical negligence specialist Rob Dempsey answers your frequently asked questions regarding missed diagnosis of cancer.  What do the guidelines say regarding missed diagnosis of cancer? To establish...

Product liability and Ikea

Beth Wallace
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Recent news reported Swedish giant Ikea had agreed to pay $46m to the parents of a child killed when the company’s Malm drawers toppled over, suffocating him in May 2017. This may shock some, given the presence of the Malm range in so many homes...

Miscarriage, childbirth and psychological injury

Robert Dempsey
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A report in the news today (15 January 2020) highlights findings that miscarriage may lead to long-term post traumatic stress.  The study of 650 women carried out by Imperial College in London found 29% of women who had had a miscarriage showed the...

FAQs: Winter weather and personal injury claims

Cristina Parla
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Every week, The Law Society invites law firms to take part in #solicitorchat hour on Twitter, which provides the opportunity to answer popular legal queries.  On 23 January, I took part in the Personal Injury session (and won!)  Here’s...

Brain injury and sport

Robert Dempsey
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In light of the recent news that Scotland is set to ban children under 12 heading the ball in a game of football, we felt this earlier blog was particularly apt to share. It shows that the consideration of development of later health issues as a result of...

Update on the intestacy rules

Joseph Stoehr
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If someone dies without a will (or without one that is valid), the intestacy rules dictate how much of their estate their partner, children and other relatives inherit. Legislation passed yesterday – the Administration of Estates Act 1925 (Fixed Net...

Ethical veganism recognised as a "philosophical belief"

Laura Hill
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Last week, an Employment Tribunal ruled that “ethical veganism” constitutes a philosophical belief and ethical vegans stand to be protected by the Equality Act 2010 (“EqA 2010”). The case of Casamitjana v League Against Cruel Sports. ...

So you think you have a personal injury claim?

Beth Wallace
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Having begun my training contract with a first seat in the Personal Injury department, it has proven to be a steep learning curve to arm myself with the knowledge and legal basis upon which we might assess the prospects of a potential personal injury...

A right royal lesson

Neil Denny
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It’s impossible to predict what decisions our children will make in the future, or what might happen along the way. The impact they will have on our financial planning and dynastic wealth protection, therefore, is a complete unknown.  In other...

Separation and the Capital Gains Tax trap

Neil Denny
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Separating from your spouse or civil partner at the wrong time could result in you having to pay Capital Gains Tax (CGT) that you could otherwise avoid. CGT is payable when you dispose of an asset whether you sell it, gift it or are ordered to transfer it...

All I want for Christmas is... paid invoices

Catherine Rickett
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As a business, you may have seen an increase in sales during the run-up to Christmas – which is great news – until your customers are late making payment and your cash flow suffers as a result. It’s pretty common for people to overspend at...

Food businesses and Brexit : addresses for exports to the EU

Julie Robinson
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The Q & A below is about addresses on pre-packed foods exported into the EU. It is aimed at Food Business Operators (FBOs) in Great Britain and covers the position if we leave the EU:- without a withdrawal agreement in place; or having left...

Five ways female car drivers can protect themselves legally

Cristina Parla
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According to statistics, Britain is dubbed the “road rage capital of the world” – a rather fetching title – with up to about 80% of people fallen victim of it. It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been driving, how...

Cycling to the polls

Robert Dempsey
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As well as being an increasingly prevalent group of road users, cyclists are also amongst the most vulnerable.  With this in mind, Robert Dempsey, a personal injury lawyer at Roythornes Solicitors, has sifted through the manifestos of the main...

Retrospective planning permission granted for holiday accommodation within open countryside

Natasha Bicknell
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Retrospective planning has been secured for the Warwickshire site of TinyWood Homes thanks to a partnership between Roythornes Solicitors and Grace Machin Planning & Property .   TinyWood Homes is a luxury glamping franchise with sites...