Following best practice in cybersecurity to manage regulatory requirements
The risks SMEs run when they don’t keep up to date with the latest employment regulations include tribunals, legal claims and hefty fines. The British Chamber of Commerce reports that UK SMEs want to recruit more staff, but these risks and the need to buy in extra resource to stay compliant are holding them back. Taking on more staff increases workload. According to recent research by jobsandtalent, 22% of SME owners take between two and five days to hire and ‘onboard’ new staff-members, which takes them away from their core responsibilities.
Following best practice in cybersecurity can help you organise employee information and secure it appropriately, therefore reducing the risk of non-compliance. With an organised and secure system in place, you can cut down the time spent on paperwork and administration, and move to a proactive approach. This will help ensure that you hold the right employee data with the appropriate security policies to keep it safe.
Access the latest information quickly and easily
Every employee creates bundles of paperwork during their employment - from contracts, references, benefit information, bank details and next of kin contacts to sickness, training and holiday records. It can be difficult to manage that amount of paperwork as it moves backwards and forwards in your organisation. By digitising information, you can keep it in one central location, and easily identify the latest records without having to wade through large piles of paper.
Two-thirds of data breaches are caused by human error. With digitised files held in central locations that are easily accessible to authorised staff, you can reduce reliance on paper documents, which can be inadvertently left on printers, misfiled or lost.
Improve the security of confidential information
Of course, all this information is sensitive so you need to control access to it. Making full use of rights and permissions will restrict access of sensitive information to authorised staff, regardless of their location. Version controls will give you audit trails of what records have been amended and by whom. You can even protect information, with advanced security measures like restricting the printing and emailing of certain documents so that data remains private.
Integrate paper and different systems for a complete picture
We are probably a long way from eliminating paper-based systems altogether so we still need to incorporate paper records. Copies of passports, visa and driving licences must be linked to employee files for reasons to do with regulatory compliance. By using an effective document management system, you can connect information and files from different sources to get a complete picture of an employee’s records.
Keep records up to date and complete
You can then use this complete picture as a single source of truth, and incorporate workflows to proactively identify data gaps and keep records up to date. For example, you can set up alerts to advise when visas, accreditation's or driving licences are about to expire using workflow monitoring tools. And by alerting you to potential breaches before they happen, IT can help you stay compliant at all times.
Ensure compliance by storing information responsibly
Employee data can be stored safely either on site or off site in UK data centres that have robust security and disaster recovery procedures in place. A comprehensive backup solution will make sure that you never lose any data and that you can still easily access data that needs to be retained for several years. You can set rules to destroy information automatically once you no longer need to keep it, reducing the risk of archived files ending up in the wrong hands, and complying with regulations regarding the use and storage of personal data.
Being able to prove compliance with employment regulations may also help you win more customers. As more companies insist on compliance throughout their supply chains to protect their reputation, being able to demonstrate evidence of your own compliance in tenders and proposals will help you compete for more business.Compliance with employment regulations isn’t just about avoiding litigation, although this is a significant benefit for SMEs. It can also reduce the risk of reputational damage from any security breaches that could affect your ability to attract talented staff. Instead you can reassure your employees that they are valued and respected, by demonstrating a responsible approach to both employment regulations and data.
- Digitising employee files means that you can secure all your relevant data in one place for faster access. Add in a robust backup solution and you’ll never lose employee data again.
- Businesses can strengthen the security mechanisms they have in place by restricting access to sensitive information, providing audit trails of changes and automatically applying retention policies.
- Get a complete picture of your employees to identify gaps in your records. IT systems can bring together different systems, including legacy paper-based systems, to help you take a more proactive approach to compliance.