GDPR Data Retention Precautions for Multinational EU Employers

GDPR Data Retention Precautions for Multinational EU Employers

It’s rare to find a workplace that isn’t reliant on the internet anymore. As a result, more and more data is being shared on the web. In fact, there were an estimated 8 exabytes of data created and shared this year alone. How does a heavy amount of digital reliance and data transfer affect your business? Well, there are a number of platforms, such as payroll software or HRIS systems, that make employees’ data accessible in a centralized, web-based system. While these make access to important records and information convenient for all team members, some of the most sensitive information is stored in these systems and as a result, they require special precautions and protections.

Protecting your employees’ personally identifiable information (commonly referred to as PII in the USA) is so important that it’s part of legislation in many countries. In the United Kingdom, employers have strict requirements to protect PII, even in the event of a data breach. Parliament passed the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in 2016 to replace the Data Protection Directive 95/46/EC. This was a consolidated effort by ruling authorities to simplify data privacy laws across Europe, protect and empower all EU citizens’ data privacy, and improve the way organizations across the region approach data privacy.

So what does this mean for your organization? If you have operations in the EU, you should know the basics about GDPR data retention so you can remain compliant and keep your employees’ information safe.

GDPR Data Retention: What You Need to Know

If you work in the EU, you need to keep GDPR on your radar. This update to legislation applies to all companies processing the personal data of data subjects residing in the Union, regardless of the company’s location.


There are direct penalties involved for those organizations that do not comply with GDPR, which is why it’s critical to understand at least the basics of this new law. This is also why we highly recommend working with a global payroll provider who can assist with compliance management while paying your international employees.

Those organizations in breach of GDPR can be fined up to 4% of annual global turnover or €20 Million (whichever is greater). This is the maximum fine for serious infringements, such as violating the core of Privacy by Design concepts. Companies can also be fined if they do not have proper documentation for their employees’ data or if they do not report a data breach. It is important to note that these rules apply to both controllers and processors — meaning ‘clouds’ will not be exempt from GDPR enforcement.

For more information on the key factors regarding GDPR, read this article.

Maintaining Personal Data

GDPR data retention requires you to hold on to personal data no longer than is necessary for the purpose in which you originally obtained the information. To prevent stolen data, it’s good practice to review the personal data that your organization keeps and delete anything you no longer need. Information that does not need to be accessed regularly, but which still needs to be retained, can be kept on a secure server that is easily accessible.

To learn more about proper data retention, take a look at this article.

GDPR data retention is very important for businesses with operations in the EU. Celergo has a compliance guarantee for every country it does payroll in, including those in Europe; your employees’ information is safe with us. Please do not hesitate to reach out if you have any questions!



**This article is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice.


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