With GDPR looming, we are often asked: “how long do you have to keep employee records for?” If you are looking to save space, reduce cost, minimise the risk of losing or damaging vital information and are moving towards sustainable ‘green’ practices such as going paperless, the following information will help you get your house in order.
This information is to be used as a guideline for retention times, in the absence of a specific business case supporting a longer period.
Record Retention TableRecord Retention Table
|Application forms and|
interview notes (for unsuccessful candidates)
|6 months to 1 year|
|Application form||Duration of employment|
|References received||1 year|
|Payroll and tax information||6 years|
|National Minimum Wage |
|Sickness records||6 years|
|Annual leave records||2 years|
|Unpaid leave/special leave records||3 years|
|Statutory Maternity Pay related documents e.g. records, medical evidence, calculations etc||3 years after the end of the tax year the
maternity leave ends
|Parental leave||5 years from birth/adoption or 18 years if the child is disabled|
|Annual appraisal |
/ assessment records
|Records relating to promotion, transfer, training, disciplinary action||6 years from end of employment|
|Senior managers records||Permanently for historical purposes|
|Redundancy documentation||6 years|
|References given/information to enable reference to be provided||5 years from reference/end of employment|
|Summary of record of service|
e.g. name, position held, dates of employment
|10 years from end of employment|
|Records relating to accident|
or injury at work
|3 years from the date of last entry (or if the accident involves a child or young adult, until that individual reaches 21 years old)|
|Proof of eligibility to work|
in the UK
|3 years from end of employment|
|Working time records||2 years|
|Spent disciplinary and grievance correspondence||2 years (from time at which warning is spent, documentation to be held separate to file)|
Remember, the Data Protection Act 1998 requires you to take steps to keep personal data secure, encrypt sensitive data with a password and take physical precautions to keep data safe. Store it, access it and destroy it safely, securely and confidentially.
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If you would like advice or support on ensuring you are recording the right information in the right way, feel free to give us a no-obligation call. We provide flexible, commercial ad-hoc HR support and advice to businesses of all shapes and sizes. We would love to help you protect your business and reduce your costs too.
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