Abigail Sinden
Associate Solicitor
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Date Published:28 Jan 2019 Last Updated:09 Apr 2021

Remember to register with the Information Commissioner’s Office or you could face a fine!

Business Services

As it’s National Data Protection Day, I thought I would catch up on the latest from the Information Commissioner’s office (ICO). I was surprised to learn that the ICO is targeting care homes that have failed to pay the data protection fee. The ICO requires all organisations processing personal data to register with the ICO as a data controller. The data protection fee is set by the Government which has a statutory duty under the Data Protection Regulations 2018 (‘’the Regulations’’) to ensure the ICO is adequately funded.

Some organisations are exempt from paying the fee such as public authorities, charities and small occupational pension schemes. However, the care home sector processes particularly sensitive information for health administration and patient care
purposes and is therefore not excluded from the registration requirement.

The ICO stated that over 100 organisations across a range of sectors have failed to pay the fee and have faced a significant fine. It is therefore important to ensure that your organisation complies with the ICO’s requirements. If you are issued with a
notice from the ICO you have 21 days to respond and action will be stopped. If you ignore the letter you could face a fine for breach of the Regulations.

Fines vary according to the size of your organisation and as follows:

  • Tier 1- Micro organisations: have a maximum turnover of £632,000 or no more than ten members of staff. Fee: £40 Fine: £400
  • Tier 2- Small and medium sized organisations: have a maximum turnover of £36 million or no more than 250 members of staff. Fee: £60 Fine: £600
  • Tier 3- Large organisations: those not meeting the criteria of Tiers 1 or 2. Fee: £2,900 Fine £4,000

Whilst some may feel that these fees will not break the bank, it is important to remember that the reputational damage that comes with failing to register could be priceless.

If you have any queries then please do not hesitate to get in touch with Abi Sinden, or call us on 01202 525333.