Is your business prepared for Brexit?

The UK left the European Union on 31 January 2020. We know that the uncertainty around Brexit has made it difficult to know how to prepare, but our expert team will help you to put practical steps in place to make sure your business is ready during the commencing transitional period.

Our team of Brexit advisors offer in-depth analysis on the political, policy and legal implications of Brexit and how it will affect your business.

We specialise in a wide range of sectors and can help to answer big questions about Brexit and the preparations businesses should make, including:

  • What your business should do in the event of a no-deal Brexit?
  • How will the transitional period between Brexit and the entry into new UK-EU trade agreements affect you?
  • How will any long-term new trade agreements affect you?
  • What contingency plans will you need in place for each potential Brexit Scenario?

Our team of advisors can provide bespoke assessments of your business, including:

  • Assessing how your business could be affected by Brexit
  • Providing personalised practical plans to ensure your business is ready

We've also developed FBCMB sector specific regional tube maps, where you see the potential threats and issues which will affect your business. The 'lines' include international standards, EU rules, opportunities, people and trade. On each step of this journey you will need advice and our team are on hand to provide it.

It is already clear, that you or those you supply are not going to enjoy the same access to the EU's Single Market under a trade agreement as you did while the UK was a member of the EU.

The main threat you face is uncertainty about the outcome. Nonetheless, you need to assess the impact of a worst-case-scenario Brexit now and have in place contingency plans which are flexible enough to respond to developments in the negotiations.

Our team can help you with all that you need in four steps:

  1. Information - You need to have procedures in place to ensure you are well-informed about the Brexit process. Relying on press reports won’t be enough. Understanding and forecasting the likely impacts are fundamental to your Brexit strategy to gaining early competitive advantage. FBC Manby Bowdler will give you with a tailored service which monitors progress, analyses published documents, and identifies the impacts for your business the moment they become clear.

  2. Preparation - Prepare for Brexit with and without a deal. To do so, businesses should carry out a Brexit legal impact assessment followed by a Brexit commercial impact assessment. These will form the baseline of any contingency measures. 

  3. Action - You should decide what contingency plans you need and when they should be activated. You might be marginally or massively impacted. Contingency measures could include setting up alternative supply chains, identifying new customer markets, or re-skilling employees. FBC Manby Bowdler has been at the forefront of advising clients on the commercial implications of Brexit. We have the experience to help you devise and implement contingency measures for your business, and stress-test them against a range of Brexit scenarios, whatever industry you operate in.

  4. Influencing - The best way to avoid a Brexit that damages your business is to influence the outcome yourself. Brexit provides an opportunity to do that, which businesses should exploit more. FBC Manby Bowdler has the benefit of advisers in Brussels and London. We can devise and implement policy advocacy strategies to influence the course of further Brexit negotiations, the negotiations on a new trade agreement and build long-term regulatory compliance strategies, including relationship-building with key influencers and government authorities.

Our team of experienced sector specialists has examined the potential impact of Brexit in your sector and can provide an in-depth analysis on the political, policy and legal implications of Brexit, and translate what they mean for manufacturing, agricultural and hospitality clients. We have an expert understanding of how each piece of the jigsaw of EU policy and legislation fits together, an insider’s knowledge of the political and administrative processes of the negotiations, and considerable experience of how UK legislation is enacted. 

Business Must Protect Employee Data Under New Rules

07/02/2018

A landmark High Court case has highlighted the need for employers to be ready to comply with new data protection laws due to come into force in May. 

Supermarket giant Morrisons was taken to court by employees* this month after disgruntled former staff members leaked payroll data online.

Employment law specialist Julia Fitzsimmons, a Partner with FBC Manby Bowdler, said the case demonstrated how important it was for employers to be on top of rules on data protection. 

“The new General Data Protection Regulation being introduced in May 2018 will bring with it tighter rules and greater penalties for data processing. The Morrisons case has made the preparation even more pressing for businesses.

“This judgement is of huge importance because Morrisons was held liable for the criminal misuse of third party data by an employee,” she explained. “The impact extends beyond the claims for compensation from employees, it’s also the impact on reputation and the financial and physical resources involved in dealing with the data breach.”
  
“It is believed Morrisons spent more than £2m in responding to the misuse. Data breach is a growing worry for businesses, whether relating to employees or customers.”

Signalling a tough new era in EU-wide data protection law, the GDPR will replace the UK’s 1998 Data Protection Act, with new powers for data regulators and much stricter operating boundaries for businesses that process personally identifiable information about individuals. 

The aim is to harmonise data protection across all EU member states by making it simpler for everyone, including non-European companies, to comply, but it brings greater responsibilities for data processors and big penalties of up to four per cent of worldwide turnover for non-compliance. 

The biggest change is that the directive applies to any business processing personally identifiable information about EU citizens, which will include personal information on staff held by employers.  

Julia added: “The Government has said that GDPR compliance will be the minimum standard in UK law post-Brexit. Any employer who hasn’t already started on the journey towards GDPR needs to do so as a matter of urgency, as every business and organisation is affected, however small, and must be able to demonstrate they are complying, not just dealing with problems after they occur.  

“While it’s likely that most will need some specialist expertise on the legal technicalities and IT processes, as a starting point there is some excellent preparatory guidance on the Information Commissioner’s website.”  

Organisations will also have to provide more information about how data will be used and how long it will be kept for, as data must not be held for any longer than necessary. 

Under GDPR there will be a statutory obligation to notify the regulator – the ICO in the UK – of any breach, if an individual’s personally identifiable information is at risk as a result.  Fines can range up to a maximum of €20m, or 4% of total worldwide turnover for businesses, for serious contraventions.

For more information regards GDPR, contact Julia on 01952 208420 or julia.fitzsimmons@fbcmb.co.uk

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