How will Brexit affect global payroll?

Global payroll can be a complex process, where you will have to keep track of numerous data streams. Brexit – the departure of the UK from the European Union (EU) – has changed how you transfer personal data, making payroll even more complicated. There are now strict regulations your business must comply with when you transfer any personal data between countries. It’s now more important than ever to safeguard your business, with the pandemic and Brexit. So, here we share everything you’ll need to know about Brexit and global payroll.


Brexit and global payroll: Here’s what to do if you receive personal data from the EU

If you receive personal data from anywhere in the EU, it must follow specific data protection laws.  But, what exactly is personal data? Personal data is any information that can identify a person, such as staff working hours or payroll details. It’s really important to not only protect your data but ensure it complies with any new Brexit regulations.

Brexit and global payroll don’t have to be complicated. As a business owner, you should review your current payroll processes (if you haven’t done so already). You will be required by law to put measures in place between you and the EU sender. This will then allow you to transfer any personal payroll data between countries.

For most businesses, this will mean the use of a SCC (a Standard Contractual Clause). This is a legal contract that helps businesses transfer any personal data – such as your global payroll data – to other companies in third countries (any country not in the EU). As the Brexit transition period has now ended, the UK will be able to produce its own SCCs for transfers made from the UK.

If you’re not sure whether your data requires a SCC, help is at hand. Global HRIS can support you with any Brexit and global payroll questions you have. Alternatively, check via ICO’s interactive tool.


Brexit and global payroll: Here’s what to do if you receive personal data from the UK

Similarly, if you’re based in the EU and you receive any personal data from the UK, there’s a few steps to follow. Now the Brexit transition period has ended, you can continue to use any existing SCCs you have in place for any data transfers. You should make any changes to the clause to reflect the new laws, for example changing any references from the old EU Data Protection to the UK GDPR.

For any new personal data transfers, you should use the current EU SCC. Brexit and global payroll can be complex; you must only transfer personal data that complies with the new regulations.

If you’d like any support with your international data transfers, Global HRIS can help.


Brexit and global payroll: Next steps
  1. Understand your data flows

Your first step should always be to understand your international flows of personal data. Identify and note down any data transfers that take place between the UK and EU. You should also review any existing data transfers, to ensure they comply with any new laws.

It’s important that both your payroll and HR teams understand these data flows, too. Although it’s timely, make sure anyone that regularly handles personal data is aware of all your business’s data flows. Whilst it’s a timely process, it can cost your business money, time and its reputation if you transfer data incorrectly.

Here at Global HRIS, we can take the stress of Brexit and global payroll away. We can help to manage your global payroll and support you with any queries about any data transfers you have.

  1. Develop the required SCCs

 The best option for any international personal data transfer now is via an SCC. Whether you’re EU-based or your business resides in the UK, it’s important to know what clause is required for any international data transfer.

You can use ICO’s interactive tool to develop the correct SCC for your payroll transfer. Or, simply get in touch with us today, so we can work with your global payroll team to develop the correct clause.

  1. Create a centralised payment system

Finally, global payroll can get complicated very quickly. Whilst global payroll is the same payroll process as usual, what makes it complex are the varied tax laws for each country and expensing payroll in different units of measure. More often than not, many global companies still manage multiple bank accounts in different countries. This can quickly become overwhelming.

Now with the added pressure of Brexit on your global payroll, you should consider centralising your payment system. This is when one company in an organisation manages any outgoing payments between other businesses in the same organisation.

A centralised payment system has a heap of benefits for your business. Not only can it hold all data in one place so all staff can easily access, but it also improves functionality across all parts of your organisation.

Global HRIS can transform your payroll into one centralised system. We will support you at every step of the payroll process.


Whether you’re UK-based or your business is in the EU, there are new regulations to follow. As a business owner, it’s important to be aware of the new laws put in place, and how these will affect your organisation. Similarly, make sure any individual who regularly handles any personal data is aware of these laws. Global HRIS can take the stress of Brexit and global payroll away, too.


Simply get in touch to see how we can support your business with any international data transfers.

Find out more about how we can help you by calling Global HRIS today on +44 161 317 2903 or get in touch through our website.
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