Key Findings from the HR GDPR Divide Survey 2017

19 December 2017 - Reading time: 4 Minutes


The results show surprisingly polarised views when it comes to GDPR readiness in the HR and payroll industry. The key findings include:

There is a clear divide within the HR and payroll industry when it comes to GDPR awareness

Worryingly, out of the respondents, 44% do not know what the GDPR is: that’s just under half of HR and payroll professionals across Europe who are not aware of GDPR. Because of this, we can presume that those respondents are not be taking steps to prepare for the impending regulation.

Of those who are aware of GDPR, HR and payroll professionals are preparing well

Of the 56% that are aware of GDPR, 81% feel they will be ready by the deadline. At the time the survey was conducted, there were six months until the May 2018 deadline – it is therefore encouraging to see HR and payroll professionals already making the necessary changes to their department and businesses, and allowing time to ensure that the correct processes are in place.

So, how are HR and payroll professionals preparing for GDPR?

Seeking additional skills

Of the 56% of HR and payroll professionals that are aware of GDPR, the majority are collaborating with other departments or outsourcing providers. 84% of respondents revealed that they are getting help from other departments in the organisation, yet 73% believe that GDPR compliance would be easier if HR and payroll was outsourced. In addition, we found that 91% are likely to look for additional skills outside the organisation to help with GDPR preparation.

Recognising the necessity for GDPR

Of those that are aware of GDPR, 55% of respondents believe GDPR is a risk to the HR industry, leading them to implement various preparations. 68% of respondents are absorbing as much as possible on the subject and reviewing and updating all existing policies and processes related to data protection, and 49% are assessing the need for changes to current business relationships (including with data contractors).

Although the HR industry seems to be polarised, for those who have heard of GDPR, the benefits are recognised. When asked what the key benefit of GDPR is in the HR and payroll industry, 71% believe improved data security will be the biggest benefit, whereas only 3% believe that GDPR will bring no benefits at all.

When it comes to GDPR readiness, our survey has revealed a clear divide in the HR industry. Even though those who have heard of GDPR are taking the necessary steps to prepare and believe they are likely to be compliant by the deadline, nearly half of the industry has not heard of GDPR at all. Reassuringly, those who are aware are seeking skills to help them become compliant from a variety of sources – both internal and external. Despite this, our research demonstrates that a significant amount of education around GDPR still needs to be carried out ahead of the May 25th deadline.

To download the full report and infographic, click here.

SD Worx aims to give guidance and provide news on this historic legislation from an HR and Payroll stand point which will impact businesses across the globe. For more information please visit our GDPR Page or, please email

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