GDPR was rolled out in May, 2018 and data privacy checks haven’t been the same since then.

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What is GDPR?

GDPR or General Data Protection Regulation is a set of rules and regulations that aims at safeguarding data privacy for people residing in Europe. It is, as rightly said by EU GDPR Org, the most important data regulation policy in 20 years. GDPR was penned down to give individuals more control over their personal data. It enables them to choose who they share their data with or how much of it they share. Even though GDPR is meant primarily for EU citizens, it affects any kind of international business which has Europe-based clients or stakeholders.

Thanks to GDPR, individuals can now access, deny, limit, edit, move or delete all kinds of data that they share with any digital platform.

GDPR Challenges in a Freelancer Environment

When it comes to GDPR rules, the biggest challenge companies face while engaging with freelancers is data maintenance. Freelancer data is often unorganized and distributed in an unsystematic way. Freelancers might not even be aware of the ways in which their personal data gets used by different hiring companies. Compared to full-time employees, freelancers almost never have a thorough onboarding process. In some cases, companies do not even have a strict system of record which documents freelancer profile details. Data security is still a concern for recruiters who look into freelancer data. Random excel files and email threads with freelancer details are not the way to ensure GDPR compliance. Email threads are often lost and excel files are not automated centralized platforms to maintain freelancer data. In the wake of GDPR initiation, companies need to tackle these issues or else they run a serious risk of violating the policy.

Freelancing and GDPR

While GDPR rules are clearly defined for full-time employees and HR policies are made with that in mind, it’s a little ambiguous for freelancers. The best way to make sure that there are no loopholes in your system that makes onboarding freelancers GDPR non-complaint is by making the proceedings transparent. Give freelancers complete authority to choose if their data can be retained for future reference or if it can be shared with stakeholders etc. Create sign-up forms with checkboxes in place which will allow freelancers to choose their preferences while submitting their data online. Whether it is a freelancer, independent contractor or consultant, make sure you ask for their data retention preferences while your HR is onboarding them. Additionally, give them the option to delete or cancel their data/profile at any point in the future, if they decide to do so.  

GDPR in freelancing world

Will Brexit Impact GDPR?

Considering the fact that UK is the second largest marketplace contributing to the rising freelancer economy, it is a fair question to ask. The impending Brexit has put to question trade policies that were previously made by the European union, but as of now (at the time of writing this article), UK continues to embrace GDPR. The changes implemented by UK organizations in data privacy protection following GDPR imposition in 2018 are still in action and is likely to remain unchanged. Companies working with UK-based freelancers should continue to keep their transactions GDPR friendly.

Freelancer Management System (FMS) and GDPR

The main blocker in the road of making freelancer engagement GDPR compliant is the fact that freelancer data is often sourced in an unorganized manner and poorly managed. A centralized system is the solution for such issues. Freelancer Management Systems bridge this gap by providing companies a platform which standardizes freelancer on-boarding and managing. Freework is one tool which has been designed with the GDPR rules in mind and makes freelancer interaction fully GDPR compliant. Softwares like Freework and others have automated screening systems to ensure that data is received and shared in a compliant manner.

Stay GDPR Compliant

If your company is yet to set the foundations for a GDPR compliant freelancer engagement system, start with auditing your current process to identify the gaps. Your next step would be to compare and choose a Freelancer Management platform which is best suited to handle your freelancer interaction. Since FMS apps come with pre-designed templates for freelancer engagement, they are your best bet at staying GDPR compliant in freelancer world.

Data Protection for EU citizens