We’ve been helping businesses prioritise what they need to do and what they don’t. So we’ve pulled together this practical Brexit checklist.
From 1st Jan you can no longer send emails from the UK to prospects in the EU and rely on ‘legitimate interest’ as the legal basis to do so. You’ll now need to look at each country’s local e-marketing regulations, many of which require consent, even for B2B marketing. Let us know if you need help with this.
2. People Movement
With so many working from home, a lot of businesses are dealing with staff requesting to work from other countries. In a nutshell, this is a complex issue and you need to consider a number of things.
With Brexit we have new immigration rules, so UK staff will need visas to live in EU countries now, and vice versa.
But you’ll also need to look at whether changes are needed to their contracts and/ or the employing entity, as well as local tax rules and social security requirements, local employment laws, health and safety, data protection/ security, insurance, the effect on benefits such as EMI schemes, whether it could create a ‘permanent establishment’ for the business, etc, etc.
Should you have a written policy to deal with these requests? Or is it better to deal with requests on a case-by-case basis? Let us know if you’d like to discuss.
3. Personal data hosted in/ transferred from the EU (e.g. staff, customers, suppliers)
For the time being you can continue to hold data on EU hosted tech and receive it from the EU. We are in a 6-month period in which the EU needs to decide whether the UK has adequate data protection. If not, UK businesses will need to put in place a legal mechanism for transfers (such as data processing agreements with Standard Contractual Clauses) with relevant customers/ suppliers (e.g. tech providers) and between group companies etc.
Please let us know if you’re getting requests to change existing data processing agreements and need help.
What you should do now is update privacy notices to refer to both the UK and EU GDPRs (unless you don’t hold/ process data in the EU). And you should also consider whether you need to appoint an EU representative. See our blog on this.
Also bear in mind that if you don’t comply with the GDPR you may now be faced with enforcement action from two different regulators.
So it’s more important than ever to do a data mapping exercise and to keep it updated. See our blog for more information.
4. Brand Protection
If you own an EU registered trade mark (and/ or other registered IP) this will now have been separated out so you have one mark covering just the UK and one for the EU. If you haven’t been notified of this please check in with the IPO.
For new IP rights, if you want cover for the UK and the EU you’ll now need to apply separately to the different registries, i.e. the IPO and the EUIPO.
Also look at the government’s guidance on domain names if you use an .eu web domain.
5. Contracts with Customers & Suppliers
If you rely on goods/ services being delivered from the EU check what contingency measures suppliers have to ensure continued delivery/ performance. Are these reflected in your contracts?
Also check if any important contracts refer to the EU as a jurisdiction. If so, is there an impact now the UK is not part of the EU? As a starting point look at non-compete clauses, agency, distribution, reseller agreements, IP rights/ licensing, indemnities, etc. And let us know if you’d like help with this.
The government has also produced a tool that creates a personalised list of actions that you might find useful here. (It’s one size fits all so takes a bit of time to get through it).
This month we’re offering a Free Brexit Health Check to our clients to help you prioritise what needs to be done now that we’re no-longer part of the EU.
It takes no more than 30 mins and involves no preparation… we help you stress test any Brexit preparations you have already completed and can cover any of the areas above where you need support. Get in touch if you want to book in yours today.