What are the PECR

The PECR represents the UK's law on how businesses are allowed to market to UK consumers using electronic technology. This covers:

  • Email
  • Online tracking technologies such as cookies
  • SMS
  • Instant messaging
  • Phone
  • Fax
  • Electronic communications networks

The PECR derives from an EU law known as the ePrivacy Directive (sometimes called the Cookies Directive). EU directives are like a set of objectives for EU countries. A directive sets out the sorts of laws that EU countries should adopt. The PECR is the UK's way of implementing the ePrivacy Directive.


The EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is an important EU data protection law. The GDPR was implemented in UK law by the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA). Here, we'll be referring to the GDPR rather than the DPA.

The PECR is not part of the GDPR as such. But the interaction between the rules on privacy (under the PECR) and the rules on data protection (under the GDPR) is very important.

The GDPR provides a broad framework covering the processing of personal data. This means the use of people's identifying information, such as their name, email address, or cookie ID.

Electronic marketing and communications involve the processing of personal data, and so the GDPR applies to these activities.

The PECR provides detailed rules in this specific area. The PECR and the GDPR complement one another and we comply with both laws.

How we comply with the PECR

It is likely that contacting an individual in order to publicise our recruitment services generally could be constituted as marketing. We take the view, however, that contacting Prospects or Candidates about a specific opportunity is not marketing (because we are not advertising or marketing our services but advising them of a particular opportunity through one of our Clients), but we give them an opportunity to opt out from further communications.

It is likely that contacting Prospective Clients by phone in order to publicise our recruitment services would be considered to be marketing.

We carry out the following steps where we are contacting an individual or business by phone to publicise our recruitment services:

  • We only contact individuals where they have subscribed via our forms or otherwise indicated to us that they would like to hear from us.
  • We are registered with the Telephone Preference Service and check against its unsubscribe lists before direct marketing by phone (individuals as well as sole traders and partnerships can register with this).
  • We also check against the Corporate Telephone Preference Service for companies and other corporate bodies who can register if they do not want to be contacted.

If an individual/company, we contact asks not to be contacted again then we remove them from our contact list and keep a note on our suppression list that they do not want to be contacted. They can also contact us to opt out at any time through links in our Privacy Policy on our website.