44% of employers do not know what GDPR is


More than two-fifths (44%) of employer respondents do not know what the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is, according to research by SD Worx.

Its survey of 1,800 HR and payroll professionals across nine European markets also found that 55% of respondents who are aware of GDPR believe that the regulation is a risk to the HR industry.

The research also found:

  • 71% of respondents believe the biggest benefit of GDPR will be improved data security, and 3% think that GDPR will bring no benefits at all.
  • 81% of respondents that know about GDPR feel they will be ready by the May 2018 deadline.
  • 84% of respondents who are aware of GDPR are getting help from other departments in the organisation to prepare for the implementation of GDPR, and 91% are likely to look for additional skills outside the organisation to help with GDPR preparation.
  • 73% of respondents that have heard of GDPR believe that GDPR compliance would be easier if HR and payroll was outsourced.
  • 68% of respondents who are aware of GDPR are absorbing as much information as possible on the subject, as well as reviewing and updating all existing policies and processes related to data protection, compared to 49% who are assessing the need for changes to their current business relationships, including with data contractors.
  • 67% of Austrian respondents think their HR team will be fully GDPR compliant by the deadline, compared with 90% of respondents based in Ireland.
  • 56% of Swiss respondents feel that outsourcing their HR and payroll department will make becoming GDPR compliant easier, compared to 85% of respondents in Belgium and 73% of British respondents.

Jean-Luc Barbier (pictured), international managing director at SD Worx, said: “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, [one] would assume that the [employers] 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.”