Quick (plain English!) Roundup of how Brexit affects you as a Coach

Uncategorized Jan 20, 2021

For my first blog post of the year, I thought it would be useful to set out the lowdown on how Brexit affects UK based coaches. Spoiler alert: this is quick, to the point and in plain English!

The UK government ads with lots of stuff being unloaded from big containers and people with hardhats and clipboards were hard to relate to for service providers, I thought - we were told in no uncertain terms to get ready...but if you are anything like me it felt tricky to even know how to begin!

If the whole topic has left you with an unsettled feeling and an open loop playing on repeat, stick with me: here is a simple summary in plain English of some of the things you may need to explore further if you are a UK based coach. With a link to where you can find more information if you need to.

The good news is that in most cases you won't need to do anything at all! What a relief right?!

1. Let's start with your contracts - because contract law is for the most part 'common law' that is it is law that has evolved through centuries of decisions made by the courts, it is pretty much unaffected by Brexit. Any of the laws imposed by the EU in legislation (such as consumer protection law) have been 'imported' into our national UK law and so again, Brexit has not changed things.

2. The next area to consider is data protection. European data protection and privacy law (including GDPR and cookie regulations) has been 'imported' into UK law and so all of the protection, systems and consent mechanisms you have in place continue to be relevant.

  • If you transfer data you control (like your clients' personal data) to the EU - for example because you have a services provider who is EU based - then you can continue to do so as the UK government has deemed the EU to be 'adequate' for the purpose of data protection. That means it is deemed to have enough safeguards in place for it to be trusted to take care of the personal data of people based in the UK.
  • Where it gets a little trickier is where you have clients in the EU who want you to process personal data they control. Note - this is NOT the contact data for your clients themselves, it is, for example, their databases with all their client contact details. In my experience helping hundreds of coaches, it is unlikely that this is relevant to your work as a coach. The most likely way in which it could relate to you is if you still carry out some 'done for you' work on a consultancy basis for clients in the EU, which requires you to deal with their client database in some way. If this applies to you, then you will need to keep up to date on what happens in this area. For now, the UK has been deemed 'adequate' on a temporary basis for up to 6 months.
  • Hopefully this adequacy status will become permanent, but if it changes and the UK is no longer deemed to be adequate, your EU client will want you to put some extra safeguards in place. These are called 'Standard Contractual Clauses' or SCCs.

3. Do you need to appoint a representative in the EU? If you specifically target clients in the EU and have a significant number of EU clients, then you may need to appoint a representative in the EU for Data Protection purposes. There are lots of organisations who are offering these services, but of course there is a cost involved. Yet again, in my experience for most of you this will not apply - but here is a link to find out more if you think it might.

So, if we are unlikely to need to take action in most cases, then what type of business will need to take action? Good question! The businesses most affected are those with offices and employees in the EU and those importing goods. As a coach, this is unlikely to be you, but if you suspect it might be, here is a link to a checker tool so you can work out exactly what you need to do for your business.

I hope this provides you with some reassurance - let me know if it has helped you and if you have any questions. Always happy to help!

If you want to keep on top of how changes in legislation impact your coaching business, join my Legal Hub for Coaches now.



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