Despite GDPR legislation having come into effect over four months ago, the majority of UK businesses in the trades sector are now risking penalties by failing to adhere to some of the rules, according to the results of a new survey.

The survey of 1,002 UK workers in full or part-time employment, carried out by, said that a large proportion (44%) of businesses in the trades sector failed to wipe the data from IT equipment they disposed of in the two months following GDPR. The workers surveyed were from a wide range of trades including construction, plumbing and carpentry.

This news is perhaps less surprising given the research also found that 71% of all UK businesses in the trades sector do not have an official process or protocol for disposing of obsolete IT equipment.

What’s more, 47% of workers in the trades industry admit they wouldn’t even know who to approach within their company in order to correctly dispose of old or unusable equipment.

Matt Royle, Marketing Director at, commented: “Given the amount of publicity around GDPR it is arguably impossible to be unaware or misunderstand the basics of what is required for compliance. So, it is startling to discover just how many businesses are failing to both implement and follow some of the simplest data protection practices.”

“This is especially startling to see from businesses within the trades sector, where sensitive customer information including address details are handled all the time.”

“The fines involved in a GDPR breach can potentially run into the millions – and what appear to be less tangible impactors, like reputational damage, customer trust and loyalty, will ultimately become financially significant.”

“Given these findings, it is clear that more needs to be done to ensure that all businesses have a disposal procedure in place to avoid inadvertently leaking sensitive data.”