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  1. If the Commissioner decides to issue a penalty notice, the fine amount will be calculated by applying the following five step approach:
    • Step 1: Assessment of the seriousness of the infringement.
    • Step 2: Accounting for turnover (where the controller or processor is part of an undertaking).
    • Step 3: Calculation of the starting point having regard to the seriousness of the infringement and, where relevant, the turnover of the undertaking.
    • Step 4: Adjustment to take into account any aggravating or mitigating factors.
    • Step 5: Assessment of whether the fine is effective, proportionate and dissuasive.
  1. This approach is not intended to be mechanistic. The overall assessment of the appropriate fine amount involves evaluation and judgement, taking into account all the relevant circumstances of the individual case. The guidance sets out details about each of the steps below.
  2. Having calculated the appropriate fine amount, in exceptional circumstances the Commissioner may reduce the fine where a controller or processor is unable to pay the proposed fine because of its financial position. The Commissioner’s approach to claims of financial hardship is explained the section on Financial hardship below.