What happens to data protection if there is no Brexit deal?

Guidance has been released which provides clarity on the extent to which processing personal data will continue to be governed by the EU GDPR. This data protection guidance clarifies that, after Brexit, the UK would be able to continue to send information to countries belonging to the EU. However, arrangements would need to be put in place to allow for organisations outside of the UK to continue to be able to send personal data to the UK.

It is anticipated that UK would receive an ‘adequacy decision’ from the European Commission, which would allow for continued free flow of data. However, such a decision cannot be taken until the UK becomes a ‘third country’.

2019 – 2020 and future developments
for data protection (GDPR)

 Date effective            
Legislative measure
Main change
1 January 2019
Executive pay ratios: The regulation made under the Companies House Act  made on 17 July 2018, requires listed companies who employ 250 or more employees to justify the difference in pay between their chief executives and the average earnings of their employees. Affected companies will be required to publish executive pay ratios annually. The first reports will be expected from 2020.
6 April 2019
This order will amend the ERA 1996 so that employers are required to include the number of hours employees are being paid for on their payslips, where pay varies by reference to time worked.
This order will also amend the ERA 1996 so that workers are also entitled to receive a pay slip.
6 April 2019 The Employment Rights (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2019 (Parts 1&2) The maximum level of a penalty available for an aggravated breach of a worker’s employment rights will increase substantially, from £5,000 to £20,000. This will be applicable to a breach which occurs on or after the 6th April 2019.
Expected 2019
Employment Opportunities Bill
There is not a publicised document available yet, however it is intended to introduce more freedom, flexibility and opportunity for those seeking employment in the public and private sector; and for connected purposes.
Expected 2019
A Bill to amend the definition of worker; to make provision about workers’ rights; and for connected purposes.
6 April 2020 The Agency Workers (Amendment) Regulations 2018

The Swedish Derogation model will be abolished. (The effect of the changes will be to abolish the existing Swedish Derogation, under which agency workers who are paid between assignments may be exempt from the 12 week qualifying period rule in respect of pay. (The 12 week rule requires an agency worker to be given comparable terms to those they would have received had they been employed directly by the hirer.)

There are additional amendments in relation to this, including the right not to be unfairly dismissed or subject to a detriment for a reason relating to these regulations.)

6 April 2020

Written statements to be issued on day one of employment. (Although some particulars may be given in instalments (so long as this is still within two months), the majority of the information that must be provided will now all have to be given on the first day of employment, at the latest. This change applies to those who begin working on or after 6 April 2020.)

The statutory content of the written statements will change. (Statements will now include: the days of the week the worker is required, whether days or hours may be variable, conditions for any paid leave e.g. holiday, benefits, details about training, details about a probation period.)

Holiday pay reference period increases from 12 to 52 weeks. (Part 3 of the new regulations amends the Working Time Regulations 1998 in order to change the reference period that applies for calculating an average week’s pay where a worker has variable remuneration (due to not having regular working hours).)

6 April 2020 The Employment Rights (Miscellaneous Amendments) Regulations 2019 (Part 3) Workers will also have the right to a written statement from day one.

Lower percentage required for a request to negotiate an agreement on informing and consulting with employees.

6 April 2020
Finance Act 2017

Introduces new IR35 rules for the private sector (under which contractors working through their own companies must be taxed at source if they would have been employees if engaged directly).

Section 10 of the Social Security Contributions and Benefits Act 1992 will be amended so that employer National Insurance Contributions (NICs) will be payable on termination payments over £30,000.

Enforced 2020 Parental Bereavement (Leave and Pay) Act 2018 See detail below: September 2018.
Expected July 2021
From this date, it will be mandatory for EU citizens to hold a pre-settled or settled immigration status. Requirements for right to work checks are therefore set to change. A settlement status application scheme is due to open imminently.
To make provision about the publication of information related to differences in remuneration between ethnic groups.
On hold until further notice is provided, subject to the review of ShPL
Grandparental leave
May be extending shared parental leave to working grandparents.


Further Brexit and  HR Guidance

  • Request your free Brexit and HR Risk and Compliance Audit.  As part of our service offering to you, we have created online Risk and Compliance Audits.  These free online risk audits will take about 15 minutes to complete and then one of our HR Consultants will review your answers and provide you with a bespoke report for your organisation.  Request your risk audits by completing the form below.
  • Get regular employment law updates and HR hot topic articles via our HR Knowledge Base.
  • Find out more about all of our Outsourced HR Services.







Got questions? Looking for advice?


Explore our comprehensive library of related resources to gain valuable insights, expert tips, and helpful tools for optimising your HR practices.

Data Protection and Digital Information (No.2) Bill
4 April 2024
Data Reform Bill
17 May 2022
GDPR Risk & Compliance Audit
3 February 2024


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