Subject to certain exceptions under the DPA, employees have the right to access their records and the employer must ensure that the data is accurate. The IPA enables specific government bodies to access internet connection records including information about which websites a user has visited (their internet browsing history). The emphasis is on the employer (the data controller) to have systems in place to determine how long the data should be retained and when records should be destroyed. The UK Borders Act 2007 and the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006 may permit access to HR records in certain circumstances relating to immigration checks. It offers two checklists: one giving statutory retention periods where these exist, and the other giving recommendations for keeping information such as application forms or parental leave details. Approximately how long will the training take? It’s also important to remember that confidential data, for example sickness records, should have personally identifiable information removed where possible (pseudonymisation). These are the top 10 questions to ask in a video interview, Get free HR insights, expert tips and exclusive interviews, and start making more impact at work, HR Software Optimised for Beaches or Sofas. Because you have a legitimate interest to hold this data for this amount of time, it could easily be argued under the GDPR that the risk to the applicant is minimal compared to the benefit for the applicant. Payroll details and Payslips – 6 years Records, calculations and documents relating to the value of benefits for employees must be kept for 6 … For example, some records managers in public sector organisations recommend keeping an employee’s records until they reach the age of 100, especially for pension purposes. Respiratory Protection 29 CFR 1910.134 – requires the employer to conduct an assessment of the workplace to determine if there are harmful dusts, fumes, mists, sprays or vapors which may create a respiratory health hazard. In the UK public sector there are many detailed rules about record retention. What would you do with the unrestricted freedom to work from anywhere? It may involve training about the legal issues involved and address the benefits of sound personnel administration and broader HR strategy. Training records must be retained for 3 years from the date on which the training occurred, although it is advisable to retain training records for the duration of employment. Generally, an employee can make a claim to an employment tribunal within three months of their employment ending. You’ll need to consider both your legal and business requirements when deciding how long to keep data. Beyond this, you are unlikely to have a legitimate interest reason for holding pay information for ex-employees. As an employer, you must keep wage and time, and holidays and leave records that comply with the Employment Relations Act 2000 and the Holidays Act 2003. But how does this relate to the different elements of personal data placed in HR’s care? If you like the sound of People, but you’re not familiar with the name… then it’s only natural that you’ll have questions. All Rights Reserved. Assessments under health and safety regulations and records of consultations with safety representatives and committees, Personnel files and training records (including formal disciplinary records and working time records), Recruitment application forms and interview notes (for unsuccessful candidates), Redundancy details, calculations of payments, refunds, notification to the Secretary of State, Senior executives' records (that is, those on a senior management team or their equivalents), Statutory Sick Pay records, calculations, certificates, self-certificates, occupational health reports, Termination of employment, for example early retirement, severance or death in service, Terms and conditions including offers, written particulars, and variations, GOV.UK - Data protection and your business, Information Commissioner: for organisations. See more in our factsheet on data protection and GDPR in the workplace. Employers should always review the length of time personal data is kept, consider its purpose when deciding how long to retain it, and update, archive or securely delete information if it goes out of date. The checklist below is divided into two parts: The main UK legislation regulating statutory retention periods is summarised below. The GDPR maintains the DPA’s notion that “[data should] not be kept longer than necessary for the purpose for which it was processed”. (NB SARS require you to keep all records for a period of 5 years) This statutory provision does not apply to employees who work less than 24 hours a month for that employer. Staff records you should keep London: Acas. Everything you need to know on data protection legislation, ensuring you are GDPR compliant and how it applies to key HR activities, Introduces data protection law in the UK, covering the obligations of employers and individual rights to accessing information, Commonly asked questions on the legal issues relating to data protection, surveillance and privacy in the workplace, Learn about defining, measuring and reporting human capital, and the value of external workforce reporting, © Copyright Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development 2020, 151 The Broadway, London SW19 1JQ, UK Incorporated by Royal Charter, Registered Charity no. During your recruitment process, there’s a lot of data that comes your way. This is partly because of potential tribunals for the 3-month risk period during which terminated employees can bring a claim against you, but it could be used for defending a county court or high court claim, which can occur many years down the line. The new Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA) incorporates the agreed provisions of the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and applies to most HR records, whether held in paper, or digital format. Further special provisions may affect the retention of, or access to, data. Records where there are UK statutory retention periods, with the statutory authorities. HR records can be stored in hardcopy or electronically but it’s important for organisations to keep the information in a well-organised system so that it can be easily retrieved and managed. However, the worker or supervisor must provide a new employer with proof that training was previously completed, and the new employer must verify that the training covered the minimum content requirements set out in the regulation. decisions, This is an issue we’ve addressed on our blog before. Data must not be kept any longer than is necessary for a legitimate purpose and it must not be excessive. However, an employer must provide a worker or supervisor with written proof of completion or exemption, if a request is made within six months of the worker or supervisor no longer performing work for the employer. Defamation claims may be relevant to references or interview notes. We are often asked “how long should I keep employee records for?” This is an issue we’ve addressed on our blog before, but with the GDPR looming (General Data Protection Regulation), we felt we needed to revisit and update our answer to this issue. In short, not much – GDPR largely mirrors the DPA in regards to record keeping. Telecommunication companies must keep telephone call logs for one year. 1079797, How this checklist of retention periods is organised, Recommended (non-statutory) retention periods, Organisational development and design roles, Getting, developing and keeping the right people, HR-inform: practical HR and employment law resources, Building the best HR teams around the world, Championing better work and working lives, data protection and GDPR in the workplace, Data protection, surveillance and privacy at work law Q&As, Code of Practice on the management of records, Understanding Data Protection and GDPR Compliance, Data protection and GDPR in the workplace, Data protection, surveillance and privacy at work Q&As. The DPA and GDPR do not expressly change retention periods and do not set out any specific minimum or maximum periods. Accident books, accident records/reports (See below for accidents involving chemicals or asbestos), Health and Safety representatives and employees’ training, Income tax and NI returns, income tax records and correspondence with HMRC, Medical records and details of biological tests under the Control of Lead at Work Regulations, Medical records as specified by the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations (COSHH), Medical records under the Control of Asbestos at Work Regulations: medical records containing details of employees exposed to asbestos and medical examination certificates, Medical records under the Ionising Radiations Regulations 1999, Payroll wage/salary records (also overtime, bonuses, expenses), Records of tests and examinations of control systems and protective equipment under the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations (COSHH), Records relating to children and young adults, Retirement Benefits Schemes – records of notifiable events, for example, relating to incapacity, Statutory Maternity Pay records, calculations, certificates (Mat B1s) or other medical evidence (also shared parental, paternity and adoption pay records), Working time records including overtime, annual holiday, jury service, time off for dependents, etc. The advice in this factsheet is based on the time limits for potential UK tribunal or civil claims. talented people who fit your culture, Improve employee From 25 May 2018, existing data protection duties in the UK were tightened up to adapt to the rapid expansion of technology and collection of data. 6 Reasons People’s HR System Delivers Something Different. Help shape its future, Leading the profession that’s shaping the future of work, Introduces the legal issues in the UK around effective retention and organisation of HR records. You might need them to defend yourself against a tribunal or court claim. Internet service providers must retain communications data (including internet access, email and telephone calls - mobile and landline) for one year. Data relating to PAYE, maternity pay or SMP (statutory mandatory pay) need only be kept for 3 years after an employee leaves your company, as that is how long the HMRC may be interested in the information for conducting reviews or audits. You can find out more about data retention periods on the ICO website. All employers must ensure they are data protection compliant and may need to designate a data protection officer, which could involve training and developing existing staff. The emphasis is on the employer (the data controller) to have systems in place to determine how long the data should be retained and when records should be destroyed so it’s vital that your business is adhering to the correct statutory retention periods for different document types in order to remain compliant. A special warrant is needed to access the actual content of any communication. Therefore, an employer must keep the record of training for at Keeping records is an integral part of health and safety, requiring a regular assessment of what records should be kept, how long they should be kept and who should control them. Ever wondered how the Bradford Factor formula calculates your employees' absence scores? If you want to keep CVs on file longer than six months, for example in a talent pool for future opportunities, then you’ll want consent from applicants. However, you might consider that such records should be kept in order to establish compliance with National Minimum Wage legislation. Many government departments publish their retention and disposal policies for all records which are reviewed annually and define how long records should be retained before they are either destroyed or transferred to the National Archives. The data you collect during your recruitment process is important for defending any of these potential claims. The UK Limitation Act 1980 contains a 6-year time limit for starting many legal proceedings. If you do not gain the applicant’s consent, you should remove their CV from your system. Under the GDPR, the condition for processing would be legal obligation, or legitimate interest. This is the period of time during which a discrimination claim could be brought against your organisation. When employers no longer need to keep certain data, destruction must take place securely and effectively, for example by shredding. CIPD members can find out more on the legal aspects of data protection, including the difference between keeping records and being able to act on them, in our Data protection, surveillance and privacy at work law Q&As. During her career she has advised companies and individuals on diverse legal issues including contractual disputes, restrictive covenants, TUPE, redundancy, unfair dismissal and discrimination. § 203, et seq. Our workforce reporting factsheet has more details of how employee information can help HR and management improve business performance. In the interest of keeping information you hold up-to-date, you might want to consider asking applicants in your talent pool to review and update their CV, as well as asking them to re-issue their consent. For example, in the event of a potential personal injuries claim, relevant records for the purpose of defending such a claim would ideally be available for a three year period and a potential breach of contract claim would require retaining the relevant records for seven years from the date of breach. Young Persons 3 years Need to retain records for 3 years to demonstrate that employer has complied with Protection of Young Persons (Employment) Act 1996. Recruitment application forms and interview notes (for unsuccessful candidates) 2013 - 2020, Centralise your HR HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has the right to check your records. This information is usually stored electronically but may include paper records as well, so employers should use both physical and electronic data security methods. How Long Should Records Be Retained: Each employer shall preserve for at least three years payroll records, collective bargaining agreements, sales and purchase records. If in doubt, it's a good idea to keep records for at least 6 years (5 in Scotland), to cover the time limit for bringing any civil legal action. Original documents must usually be available, or the employer must explain what happened to the originals backed up by what is known as a 'statement of truth'. For example, the well-publicised Investigatory Powers Act 2016 (IPA), nicknamed the ‘Snooper's Charter’, deals with certain aspects of data retention, but also contains provisions extending to the interception of communications. It’s good practice to have a document retention policy and monitoring programme that’s communicated to all staff. Your records must show you’ve reported accurately, and you need to keep them for 3 years from the end of the tax year they relate to. should be held on to for 6 years after they have left. Part 1 of a statutory Code of Practice on the management of records sets out good practice in public authority records management. However, where GDPR goes beyond the DPA is in requiring HR departments to demonstrate, for each category of personal data, why it is being kept and the reasons behind the length of retention. If your employee data is being stored off site in a third-party system, you might want to download an archive of ex-employee files, which you can store on site, rather than maintaining and paying for online storage for 6 years. Both computerised and manual systems can be covered by the law: to be covered, manual systems must be organised into a 'relevant filing system'. This factsheet was last updated by Lisa Ayling, solicitor and employment law specialist. Before releasing data to a third party, the employer must seek the individual’s permission. For example: Ideally, you’ll want to keep this information for at least 6 months. You are required by law to keep records of all employees Tax and National Insurance contributions. One statute is the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, 29 U.S.C. But depending on the claim, the limit can be six months or longer. How Long Should Records Be Retained: Each employer shall preserve for at least three years payroll records, collective bargaining agreements, sales and purchase records. ACAS. HR records include a wide range of data relating to individuals working in an organisation, for example hours worked and pay or absence levels. The period is often a question of judgement rather than there being any definitive right answer. But when you actually look at what they offer, it’s easy to see that they’re all selling the same old thing... People Apps. (“FLSA”). However, while every care has been taken in compiling the information, the CIPD cannot be held responsible for any errors or omissions and the information is not intended as a substitute for specific legal advice. So many HR systems claim to be different. 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