Free Essay

Hr Policies and Hr Prospectives

In: Business and Management

Submitted By popo2112
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Retention of HR and other related records
The legal position
There is a substantial and complex amount of EU and UK legislation which has an impact upon the retention of HR and other related records. Examples of legislation dealing with particular categories of records are provided in the boxes below. Other important statutes, statutory instruments, EU Directives, and further provisions and proposals include the following:

Acts
    
Limitation Act 1980 Data Protection Act 1998 Freedom of Information Act 2000 The Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 Anti-Terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001

Statutory instruments
  
Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations 2003 (SI 2003/2426) The Regulation of Investigatory Powers (Acquisition and Disclosure of Communications Data: Code of Practice) Order 2007 (SI 2007/2197) The Data Retention (EC Directive) Regulations 2009 (SI 2009/859)

Directives
 
Data Protection Directive 95/46/EC Privacy and electronic communications Directive 2002/58/EC

Further special provisions may arise affecting the retention of or access to data, for example:

 



In the context of the criminal law, the Anti Terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001 Part 11 provides a lengthy code of practice for voluntary retention of communications data. To provide security services with a reliable log of mobile and fixed phone calls, telecommunication companies must keep telephone call logs for one year. Internet service providers must retain communications data (including internet access, email and telephone calls - mobile and landline) for one year. In the field of immigration, the UK Borders Act 2007 and the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006 may enable access to HR records in certain circumstances.

Access to HR records
The Data Protection Act (DPA) applies to most HR records, whether held in paper, microform, or computerised format. Under the DPA data must not be kept any longer than is necessary for a particular purpose. Computerised systems are covered by the law, as are certain manual systems: to be covered, manual systems must be organised into a 'relevant filing system'. Even manual filing systems in existence before 24 October 1998 when the DPA came into force are now required to comply fully with the Data Protection Directive. Subject to certain exceptions (as detailed in Schedule 7 of the Data Protection Act 1998) employees have the right to access their records and the employer is under an obligation to ensure that the data is accurate. Before releasing such data to a third party the employer must seek the permission of the individual concerned. See our factsheet on data protection for further details.

The Information Commissioner has issued an Employment Practices Data Protection Code in four parts:

   

Part 1: Recruitment and selection Part 2: Employment records Part 3: Monitoring at work Part 4: Information about workers health.

The various parts of the Code, together with additional guidance notes are available on the Information Commissioner’s website – see the Useful Links section below.

Storage format of HR records
In the event that employment contracts and other HR records are needed for the purpose of a legal action, the originals must be made available or the employer must explain what happened to the original documents backed up by what is known as a 'statement of truth'.

Destruction of records
When employers really no longer need to keep certain data, destruction must take place securely and effectively, for example, by shredding.

Statutory retention periods
The table below summarises the main legislation regulating statutory retention periods. However, if in doubt, the government’s Business Link website (see Useful contacts below) advises that it is a good idea to keep records for six years (five in Scotland), to cover the time limit for bringing any civil legal action.

Record Retirement Benefits Schemes – records of notifiable events, for example, relating to incapacity

Statutory retention period 6 years from the end of the scheme year in which the event took place

Statutory authority The Retirement Benefits Schemes (Information Powers) Regulations 1995 (SI 1995/3103) The Statutory Maternity Pay (General) Regulations 1986 (SI 1986/1960) as amended

Statutory Maternity Pay records, 3 years after the end of calculations, certificates (Mat the tax year in which B1s) or other medical evidence the maternity period ends Statutory Sick Pay records, calculations, certificates, selfcertificates

3 years after the end of The Statutory Sick Pay the tax year to which (General) Regulations they relate 1982 (SI 1982/894) as amended 6 years Taxes Management Act 1970

wage/salary records (also overtime, bonuses, expenses) national minimum wage records

3 years after the end of National Minimum Wage the pay reference Act 1998 period following the one that the records

cover records relating to working time 2 years from date on which they were made The Working Time Regulations 1998 (SI 1998/1833)

Recommended retention periods (where no statutory retention periods exist)
For many types of HR records, there is no definitive retention period: it is up to the employer to decide how long to keep these records and it’s a question of judgment rather than there being any definitive right and wrong. An employer needs to consider what would be a necessary retention period, depending on the type of record. The advice in this factsheet is based on the time limits for potential tribunal or civil claims and aims to draw sensible conclusions as to how long keeping the records will protect an employer. Where the recommended retention period given is 6 years, this is based on the 6-year time limit within which legal proceedings must be commenced as laid down under the Limitation Act 1980. Thus, where documents may be relevant to a contractual claim, it is recommended that these be retained for at least the corresponding 6-year limitation period.

Record actuarial valuation reports application forms and interview notes (for unsuccessful candidates)

Recommended retention period permanently 6 months to a year. (Because of the time limits in the various discrimination Acts, for example the Disability Discrimination Act 1995, minimum retention periods for records relating to advertising of vacancies and job applications should be at least 6 months. A year may be more advisable as the time limits for bringing claims can be extended. Successful job applicants documents will be transferred to the HR file in any event. 5 years from birth/adoption of the child or 18 years if the child receives a disability allowance 12 years from the ending of any benefit payable under the policy 12 years after benefit ceases

parental leave

pension scheme investment policies pensioners' records

HR files and training records (including 6 years after employment ceases disciplinary records and working time records) redundancy details, calculations of payments, refunds, notification to the Secretary of State senior executives' records (that is, those on a senior management team 6 years from the date of redundancy

permanently for historical purposes

or their equivalents) time cards trade union agreements trust deeds and rules trustees' minute books works council minutes 2 years after audit 10 years after ceasing to be effective permanently permanently permanently…...

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