Construction businesses are being encouraged by the CLC to ensure that they have adequate mitigation measures so that they may continue to transfer personal data between the EU and the UK after 30 June 2021 – whatever the case, the flow of data from the UK to the EU will not be affected.
At the expiry of the transition period with the European Union, the UK became a ‘third country’ for the purposes of data protection in the eyes of the EU. However, under the terms of Trade and Co-operation Agreement, the free flow of personal data could continue under the same rules as had previously been enacted until the 30 June 2021. If the European Union decides by this date that the UK’s data protection safeguards meet its own standards, then the EU can issue a ‘data adequacy’ decision allowing the continued free flow of data from the EU to the UK. At the beginning of this year, the European Commission published a draft data adequacy decision in favour of the UK but this has yet to be ratified and time is now short. Recently, the European Parliament made the headlines, asking the Commission to rethink its draft adequacy decision, throwing into doubt the likelihood of achieving a decision by the 30 June 2021 deadline.
Businesses can avoid any interruption to data flows by ensuring the use of ‘standard contractual clauses’ which mitigate against ‘third country status’ and a lack of data adequacy decision.
The Construction Leadership Council produced guidance on preparing for this in 2020 and updated the guidance earlier this year. The guidance is still valid and includes all the necessary information and advice on preparing for the event of no data adequacy decision. Construction companies are encouraged to read the guidance and ensure they are ready for 30 June 2021.