We are currently consulting on this draft guidance.
- In exceptional circumstances, the Commissioner may reduce a fine where an organisation or individual is unable to pay because of their financial position. The organisation or person concerned needs to make a claim of financial hardship. They will have the burden of proving that their situation merits such a reduction.
- The Commissioner will only grant a reduction for financial hardship on the basis of objective evidence that imposing the proposed fine would irretrievably jeopardise an organisation’s economic viability or bankrupt an individual. The Commissioner will consider evidence about the organisation or individual’s financial position (including cash flow and ability to borrow and, where relevant, dividends or other forms of value extracted from the organisation). The Commissioner will not base any reduction on the mere finding of an adverse or loss-making financial situation. The Commissioner will also take into account that there may be circumstances where a fine may be effective, dissuasive and proportionate even if the controller or processor is unable to pay and is rendered insolvent.
- Where appropriate, the Commissioner may enter an agreement providing additional time to pay a fine or to allow for the payment of the fine in instalments. The Commissioner will only reduce a fine for financial hardship in circumstances where such a reduction is merited in addition to any agreed payment plan.