February 2020 Newsletter
The Institute of Legal Research & Standards
FEBRUARY 2020 – ARTICLES & ITEMS OF INTEREST
NEWLY REVISED CPD SCHEME EFFECTIVE FROM 1 JANUARY 2020
In the January/February 2020 edition of the Law Society Gazette, Anthea Coll the Law Society’s CPD Scheme executive writes an article on the revised CPD scheme which is effective from the 1 January 2020. The newly revised scheme expands that range of topics that can be claimed as CPD, such as claiming CPD for ‘workplace wellness’ programmes and relevant training to alleviate work related stress and anxiety.
She states “the benefits of planning your professional development and undertaking well delivered CPD and training cannot be over emphasized. CPD is not just about learning about new updates on practices in the law, it also provides skills that can assist solicitors working in stressful environments and also to help achieve a better work life balance.”
Stress – The effect of stress on an employee’s performance and ability demonstrates an obvious link between wellness and risk management and there are serious implications and consequences for failing to manage such risks appropriately. Training on ‘stress management’ will now fall under the ‘regulatory matters’ category of CPD.
Wellbeing – The new revised CPD scheme permits CPD points to be claimed for training relating to meditation and mindfulness practice for reducing stress in the workplace and attending ‘workplace wellness’ programmes.
Diversity, Respect and Inclusivity – The CPD Scheme understands the importance of diversity, inclusion and implementing good working relationships behaviours and habits. The revised scheme allows for CPD points to be claimed in respect of training in relation to this under the ‘management and professional development skills’ category.
Professional Conduct and Ethical Integrity – Training undertaken in professional ethics and standards continue to be claimable under the CPD category of ‘regulatory matters’.
Further information relating to the newly revised CPD Scheme is provided in the revised scheme booklet which is available in the CPD Scheme section of the ‘Solicitors’ area on the Law Society website.
To view this article in full see https://www.lawsociety.ie/globalassets/documents/gazette/gazette-pdfs/gazette-2020/jan-feb-2020-gazette.pdf#page=43
DPC PUBLISHES ANNUAL REPORT – 1 JANUARY 2019 TO 31 DECEMBER 2019
On the 20th February the Data Protection Commission launched its annual report for 2019 detailing the work done by the DPC for the first full year since the introduction of the GDPR.
The report looks at the period from the 1 January 2019 to 31 December 2019.
The report states the total number of complaints received was 7,215 with the largest single category being “Access Rights” accounting for 29% of the overall complaints. 5,496 complaints in total were concluded.
There were 6,069 valid security breaches recorded with the largest single category being “Unauthorised Disclosures” and 457 cross border processing complaints.
Complaints received by the DPC have increased by 75% from 2018 to 2019 and reports of valid security breaches have increased by 71% from 2018 to 2019.
The report contains the following chapters: –
- Chapter 1 – Roles and Responsibilities;
- Chapter 2 – Review of 2019;
- Chapter 3 – Information and Assessment;
- Chapter 4 – Complaints – containing general information on complaints and numerous case studies;
- Chapter 5 – Breaches – containing general information on breaches and numerous case studies;
- Chapter 6 – Inquiries – sets out the names of the organisations, inquiry type and the issue being examined;
- Chapter 7 – Legal Affairs;
- Chapter 8 – Supervision;
- Chapter 9 – Data Protection Officers;
- Chapter 10 – International Activities;
- Chapter 11 – Processing of Children’s Personal Data and the Rights of Children as Data Subjects under the GDPR;
- Chapter 12 – Communications;
- Chapter 13 – Key DPC Projects;
- Chapter 14 – Corporate Affairs includes an overview of their energy usage;
- Chapter 15 – Appendices.
To view the report in full see https://www.dataprotection.ie/sites/default/files/uploads/2020-02/DPC%20Annual%20Report%202019.pdf
SIX MAIN REASONS FOR COMPLAINTS AND HOW TO AVOID THEM
This month the website of the Law Society of England and Wales contains a blog by Rebecca Atkinson, director of risk and compliance at Howard Kennedy LLP wherein she looks at some of the reasons for complaints and how to avoid them.
It is essential for law firms to provide the best service they can.
She looks at what makes ‘service’ good and why clients complain under the following headings: –
- Explain delays out of your control;
- Explain clearly;
- Listen well;
- Manage expectations;
- Respond effectively to grumbles;
- Give accurate costs information and updates.
To view this blog in detail see https://www.lawsociety.org.uk/news/blog/on-the-same-side-how-to-handle-complaints/
CAT DEADLINE EXTENDED WHERE APPROPRIATE PAYMENTS ARE MADE THROUGH ROS
On the 13 January Revenue announced an extension to the ROS return filing and tax payment date for certain self-assessment income tax customers and for customers liable to CAT.
For customers who file the 2019 Form 11 return (Preliminary tax for 2020 & income tax balance due for 2019) and for beneficiaries who received gifts or inheritances with valuation dates in the year ended 31 August 2020 the date is extended to Thursday 12 November PROVIDED it is paid and filed through ROS.
To view this ebrief in full see https://revenue.ie/en/tax-professionals/ebrief/2020/no-0092020.aspx
DATA BREACH CASE STUDY
The Data Protection Commission’s newly launched annual report contains numerous case studies. Case Study 10 deals with the ‘Loss of Control of Paper Files’.
A public sector health service provider notified the DPC that a number of files containing patient medical information had been found in a storage cabinet on hospital premises which were no longer occupied.
The records were discovered by someone who illegally accessed the premises and posted pictures of the cabinets and files on social media. The matter was reported to the DPC as soon as the organisation became aware of it at which stage a representative from the organisation came and removed the files from the premises and secured them.
The breach highlights the importance of having appropriate records management policies, including mechanisms for tracking files, appropriate secure storage facilities and full procedures for retaining and destruction of files.
The DPC issued several recommendations to improve their personal data processing procedures.
To view this and further case studies see https://www.dataprotection.ie/sites/default/files/uploads/2020-02/DPC%20Annual%20Report%202019.pdf
REVISED FORM OF VHI UNDERTAKING
A revised form of VHI undertaking has been agreed between the Law Society and VHI Insurance.
To view the revised VHI undertaking see https://www.lawsociety.ie/globalassets/documents/committees/litigation/vhi-undertaking-2020.pdf
To view the note from the Law Society of Ireland see https://www.lawsociety.ie/News/News/Stories/new-form-of-vhi-undertaking/?filters=&location=&category=&area=#.XlZr5Cj7RPY