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Whilst consent is a legitimate ground on which employee data may be processed, given that the GDPR stipulates that consent must be "freely given, specific, informed and unambiguous", the general blanket level of consent previously given in most standard employment contracts will no longer be robust enough going forward. In addition, the fact that any consent given may be withdrawn by an employee at any time, could mean that an employer would be acting unlawful if they continued to process data when consent was no longer in place. It therefore would be more prudent to process employee data without relying on employee consent, and to rely on some of the other available legitimate grounds, such as execution of the employment contract or implementation of legal obligations pursuant to the employment relationship. In this regard it will be necessary that employees who have a contract of employment with a general data protection clause are informed of the grounds on which their personal data will now be legitimately processed. This should be done through the issuing of a detailed Privacy Notice, which should also indicate that their employer is no longer relying on any previously given contractual consent.

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