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Blog  »  November 2013  »  How to Manage your Employee Files - Blog
Nov 13

Posted by
Laura Murphy

How to Manage your Employee Files

All employers need to retain certain information on their employees.

Maintaining accurate, up-to-date employee files ensures employers are:
• compliant with employment law
• prepared to deal with employee relations issues
• equipped to handle any audit or NERA inspection enquiries

Creating & Storing Employee Files

For most companies manual files are the easiest, most convenient way to retain employee files. However, more companies are moving towards electronic records. Personnel files, of both past and present employees, should always be stored securely and confidentially:
• Filing cupboards should be locked or files should be stored in a locked room
• Only those staff who need to use the data should have access to it
• Electronic records should be password protected
• Files should not be removed from their normal place without good reason

Employees Accessing Their own File

Under the Data Protection Act employees have a right to access their personnel file and obtain information with regard to why data is being stored and how it is being processed/used.

With this in mind, employers should:
• never record something that they wouldn’t want a tribunal to see
• hold only factual information (no criticisms or comments about an employee’s personal circumstances or beliefs)
• only hold information pertaining to the individual in question on file otherwise you may infringe on another employee’s Data Protection Rights

Employees’ right to access their own files continues after they have stopped working with a company.

Further details on records to be kept can be found in our guidance note on Record Keeping Requirements.

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