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Seb Anthony

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length for retention of records

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I have recently taken over responsibility for the safe keeping of the performance records of our staff. I notice that some files are bulging with paperwork going back to 1997 or earlier. Can I shred the old stuff? If not, what should I keep locally and what can I send to central HR filing? Ideally, I'd like to keep 2003/4 papers here and remove the rest. Are there any rules on length of time for keeping this stuff? Central HR are not clear on what I have to keep and what I can safely send to them. Many thanks for your help!
Jo Unwin

2 Responses

  1. Retaining Documents
    Every permanent employee should have a personnel file which contains:

    Personal details, for example address, phone number, emergency contact details.
    Completed application form or CV.
    References.
    Offer letter.
    National Insurance details.
    Contract of employment.
    Salary, holiday, absence and sickness records.
    Any disciplinary matters.
    Appraisal records.
    Any other correspondence.
    These files are confidential and should be kept in a secure place. Personnel files should be retained for seven years after employment ends for legal and reference purposes. Other records that should be retained for legal and audit purposes include medical records, accident reports, staff expense account records and records of overtime.

    It can be useful to retain forms, letters, interview notes, etc, relating to unsuccessful job applications for a shorter period, for example in case you face a claim of discrimination.

  2. Control of documents and records
    Your rentention period of documents and records should comply to the quality standard you are working towards or currently are accrediated to. e.g. TS16949 or ISO9000:2002

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