When to discard employees data
Have you ever been close to throwing out or shredding paperwork and then realising you have to keep it for a certain amount of time.
Did you know that any information stored on a computer or on paper that can easily identify an individual are covered by the data protection act 1998?
Types of records that contain employees data and when to discard it.
Job applications hold lots of employee’s data therefore this information can easily identify an individual. Other documents related to your recruitment process eg equal monitoring forms, notes medical questionnaire (only completed post job offer) also contain personal data therefore these should be handled with care. When dealing with applicants personal data it is highly important that you have a system in place in regards to filling data away. Applicants have the right to ask where and how their data is kept, therefore
- Explain the process on how and where you keep unsuccessful applicants data.
- Depending on how your recruitment system works, if using an electronic system restrict who has access to this data
- Certain documentation will contain sensitive date therefore be mindful of asking applicants permission to use the data, explain to the applicant that this data will not have a role in the selection process but will need passing to the relevant person dealing with recruitment.
- You only need to keep recruitment records six months after the process is finished. If an applicant decides to make a claim of discrimination this can be done up to three months after the recruitment process has finished, however this can be extended by a tribunal.
- Any personal data from successful applicants must be kept in accordance with your policies and procedures and only certain people should have access to this information.
Disciplinary records containing information about an individual are important. These records are solely for managers to help them deal with disciplinary’s in a fair and consistent manner. Disciplinary records can also be used if an employee makes a claim for unfair or wrongful dismissal. It is always important to record any meetings with employees if this is part of a disciplinary. Therefore when should personal data will be discarded? If a staff member receives any types of warning, ensure you follow guidance from any legal representative you are using and be guided by them as to the time frame on keeping data. It is advisable to keep such documents on the employees file as you may need to refer to them at a later date eg in deciding whether to dismiss an employee for subsequent misconduct. It is best practice to inform employees that when receiving a written warning it will only remain active for a certain period of time but will still remain on their personal file.
Do you ever check your employee’s personal data regularly to ensure it is correct? if not this is something that you may need to look into doing.
The data protection act 1998 does not state how long an employer should keep an employee’s personal data for once they have left. However it is advisable that you keep the records for six years after the date of termination.