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Key Points

  • Please see our summary GDPR card here
  • Under the old DPA 1998 consent was commonly relied upon as a lawful basis upon which to process employee data
  • Under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Data Protection Act 2018 the rules for relying upon consent as a basis for processing personal data have become much stricter, particularly in the employment context
  • Where 'special category' data is being processed, explicit consent is required. Explicit consent is not defined in the GDPR but will require clear affirmation
  • The ICO has published guidance on 'consent' which should be read alongside its guidance on the GDPR 
  • Consent is only one of the six lawful bases for processing personal data and it is often more appropriate to rely on one of the other bases first, particularly in the context of an employment relationship

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