People will at some point leave organisations which is another administrative headache. Some people move to new challenges or retire, over time some could be made redundant, leave due to ill health or be dismissed. Whatever the reason the company has to keep records regarding their employment and the way it ended. This can cause filing cabinets to become full of documents.
As a company grows more people eventually leave.
The question “How long should employee records be kept?” Starts to be asked. Even more so as employers are starting to become aware of the forthcoming General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) coming into force in May 2018
The starting point is to ask what the records are kept for?
Every record you’ve got about your existing and former staff has been created for different reasons. These can include contact details, employment contracts, disciplinary minutes, performance appraisals, training, identification documents and financial information.
The current Data Protection Act (which GDPR will replace) stipulates that data and records should only be stored for as long as they are useful, so it’s up to you as the employer to decide on this and include it in your HR policy.
Records may also need to be disposed of at different times, you might feel that contract details should be retained longer than financial details.
It’s recommended that personal information of employees, including contact details, appraisals and reviews be kept for at least 5 years. You should keep hold of employee’s financial for at least 3 years as HMRC may want to see them in this time.
The perceived wisdom is you that you should keep employee records for 6 years after they leave. Then you can work out which records are still valuable for the business to keep and those that aren’t.
Staff records contain sensitive information so it’s essential you ensure they are disposed of correctly. This includes cross shredding of paper records and the secure disposable of hard drives, which should be destroyed rather than formatted.
Our solution is BreatheHR, is a GDPR compliant cloud-based HR system. Which allows safe storage of all your employee records so that you can scan in the documents, shred them and they can quickly be deleted when required.
We now include BreatheHR with all our HR packages to save you time and encourage GDPR compliance with your employee’s personal information.