Angela Brown | NottmVA
Many Sole Traders inadvertently outsource their work or tasks to a more economical source. In my niche (or target market/audience) of Health, Wellbeing and the Medical sector, whilst dealing with Special Category Data, this is the most common and costly mistake you could ever make!
Here is an explanation as to why, and what you should really be doing instead.
Special Category Data: Personal, Sensitive details
By outsourcing your admin work to a £10.00 per hour worker might seem like a perfect solution to you at the time, and you may think that you’re getting a job done for half the pay, or a third of the cost perhaps, but there are reasons for that:
Virtual Assistants who are either self-employed (or could also be Ltd) who provide you with invoices and have been in business for extensive amounts of time, have taken specialist training, and more importantly have registered with the ICO and the HMRC with their businesses and of course, have the appropriate business insurances, public liability and some may even have cyber data loss insurance too!
Would your £10.00 per hour admin person with their wage, after taking on board for example, to pay for the tax and NI deductions, their secure systems and subscriptions that are needed to keep yours and your clients’ data secure, the relevant insurances mentioned above, the compliances, the costs for their own training and marketing costs and the wear/tear and utilities costs and so on. Let alone any profit!?! Once all of that has been taken out of their £10.00 per hour cost – what on earth are they left with to live on? It just doesn’t make good business sense! But more importantly, how are you or your clients’ data being protected?
You may need to question this. You can check the ICO Register here: https://ico.org.uk/ESDWebPages/search/ to see if your workers’ invoices for your special category data are registered for processing or controlling yours or your clients’ data.
I liaise regularly with my IT Consultant for GDPR to ensure that my software and systems are secure and up-to-date.
Here you can see a graphic provided from VIPVA.org that illustrates the true take-home pay of a Virtual Assistant and this is based on the 2017-2018 tax year’s hourly rate of £25.00 per hour. Interesting figures huh?
But what if I like my Worker?
There are ways around this, of course. If your worker is not registered, with either the HMRC and/or the ICO, then, of course, there are a couple of options.
You will need to either a) employ them or b) the worker will need to become self-employed (or Ltd) and invoice you accordingly.
If you employ them then you will need to be liable for their holiday pay, pension pay, and everything else that is associated with employment law and there is an abundance of information out there that will support you with that.
If your worker then decides to register as self-employed and you then receive invoices as you outsource work to them as their Virtual Assistant, then the Virtual Assistant or Freelancer will need to have immediate ICO registration and appropriate GDPR and special category data training in order to protect both your data and more importantly your clients’ data as they will have access to confidential and sensitive information.
I use a company called KoffeeKlatch for this very specialist training.
There is also the option of asking your freelance worker to undertake some VA training. At the beginning of my PA to VA journey I joined a comprehensive training programme that taught me how to run a business and how to use my existing skills and trained me to use my passion and skills that I utilize in my business today.
What if I think a mistake has been made?
If you feel that mistakes have been made in your business, either by you, your practice or your work, of course, you are obligated to report a breach to the ICO to protect your business and your clients and you only have a limited time to do this under the rules and guidance that is provided with the GDPR.
If you have breached your clients’ data to someone that should not have it, then you will need to provide to the ICO your examples of what has been breached, how it was breached and solutions as to how it will not happen again – all within their small window of reporting schedule.
What if I want to Outsource my admin work to someone else?
If you would feel like the time has come to complete your current contract that you have with your worker, then, of course, your written existing contract will explain how you give notice to your existing worker. If you do not have a contract then I can highly recommend Koffeeklatch VA Contracts.
If you would like to work with an experienced Virtual Assistant, that is passionate about their own ethics and morals, and understands how to work with their own security, data and has good business ethics and acumen and is confident about working with your data and your client’s Special Category Data then, by all means, contact Angela at NottmVA.
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