Is it time for you to clear out your files?
If so, when deciding what HR records to keep and for how long you must remember that there is a legal time that certain documents have to be kept, e.g. accident books, anything to do with wages/salaries, so it is always advisable to check out the relevant legislation.
However, for many types of HR records there is no definitive statutory retention period, it’s up to the employer to decide how long to keep these records, and it’s a question of judgement rather than there being any definitive right and wrong. In this case it’s advisable that you consider what would be a necessary retention period, depending on the type of record. The following advice is based on the time limits for potential tribunal or civil claims, so by keeping the records for the recommended time you, as an employer, should be protected.
The UK legislation regulating statutory retention periods were revised in July 2015, below we have detailed some of the records with the retention period:
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. So, where documents may be relevant to a contractual claim, it’s recommended that they are kept for at least the corresponding 6-year limitation period.
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