HR Record Retention Requirements

Hong Kong - Summary Chart

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Hong Kong


DOCUMENTS

RETENTION PERIOD
(minimum and/or maximum)

BEGINNING OF  RETENTION PERIOD

LEGAL REFERENCE

EMPLOYMENT RECORDS

Contracts (new hire agreements, severance, etc.)

New hire agreements/ letters of amendments:
Minimum: 7 years
Maximum: 7 years, unless there is a subsisting reason to retain longer or with consent

Resignation letters/ severance agreements:
Maximum: 7 years, unless there is a subsisting reason to retain longer or with consent

From termination

Inland Revenue Ordinance (section 51C);

Code of Practice on Human Resources Management: Compliance Guide for Employers and Human Resource Management Practitioners (2016)

Time records (work hours, rest periods, vacation/sick/holiday, etc.)

Existing employees: Minimum 12 months
Former employees: Minimum 6 months

Maximum: 7 years, unless there is a subsisting reason to retain longer or with consent

Existing employees: on-going obligation

Otherwise, from termination

Employment Ordinance (section 49A);

Code of Practice on Human Resources Management: Compliance Guide for Employers and Human Resource Management Practitioners (2016)

Performance records (performance reviews, promotions/ demotions, licenses/certifications, investigations, disciplinary actions, etc.)

Maximum: 7 years, unless there is a subsisting reason to retain longer or with consent

From termination

Code of Practice on Human Resources Management: Compliance Guide for Employers and Human Resource Management Practitioners (2016)

Data and personnel files

Minimum:
- Under Inland Revenue Ordinance: 7 years
- Under the Employment Ordinance
(i) Existing employees: 12 months
(ii) Former employees: 6 months

Maximum: 7 years, unless there is a subsisting reason to retain longer or with consent

Minimum:
- Inland Revenue Ordinance: From termination
- Employment Ordinance:
(i) Existing employees: On-going obligation
(ii) Former employees: From termination

Maximum: From termination

Inland Revenue Ordinance (section 51C);

Employment Ordinance (section 49A);

Code of Practice on Human Resources Management: Compliance Guide for Employers and Human Resource Management Practitioners (2016)

Government verification records (work papers, immigration, eligibility to work, etc.)

Maximum: 7 years, unless there is a subsisting reason to retain longer or with consent

From termination

Immigration Ordinance (section 17K);

Code of Practice on Human Resources Management: Compliance Guide for Employers and Human Resource Management Practitioners (2016)

Collective bargaining/union

Maximum: 7 years, unless there is a subsisting reason to retain longer or with consent

From termination

Code of Practice on Human Resources Management: Compliance Guide for Employers and Human Resource Management Practitioners (2016)

Background checks and drug tests

Maximum: 7 years, unless there is a subsisting reason to retain longer or with consent

From termination

Code of Practice on Human Resources Management: Compliance Guide for Employers and Human Resource Management Practitioners (2016)

Acknowledgements, policy agreements and required notices

Maximum: 7 years, unless there is a subsisting reason to retain longer or with consent

From termination

Code of Practice on Human Resources Management: Compliance Guide for Employers and Human Resource Management Practitioners (2016)

Recruitment (interview notes, resumes/CVs, reference checks, etc.)


Rejected applicants: Maximum: 2 years, unless there is a subsisting reason to retain longer or with consent

Hired employees:
Maximum: 7 years, unless there is a subsisting reason to retain longer or with consent

Rejected applicant: From date of rejection

Hired employee: From termination

Code of Practice on Human Resources Management: Compliance Guide for Employers and Human Resource Management Practitioners (2016)

Tracking/recordings (biometric, geo-location, online tracking, camera recordings, etc.)

Maximum: 7 years, unless there is a subsisting reason to retain longer or with consent

Maximum From termination

Code of Practice on Human Resources Management: Compliance Guide for Employers and Human Resource Management Practitioners (2016)

BENEFIT/PENSION/EQUITY RECORDS

Benefits (plan documents, enrollment records)

Minimum: 7 years

Maximum: 7 years, unless there is a subsisting reason to retain longer or with consent

From termination

Inland Revenue Ordinance (section 51C);

Code of Practice on Human Resources Management: Compliance Guide for Employers and Human Resource Management Practitioners (2016)

Pension records

Mandatory provident fund and other pension records:

Minimum: 7 years

Maximum: 7 years, unless there is a subsisting reason to retain longer or with consent

From termination

Inland Revenue Ordinance (section 51C);

Employers’ Handbook on MPF Obligations (2018);

Mandatory Provident Fund Schemes Ordinance (section 19A);

Code of Practice on Human Resources Management: Compliance Guide for Employers and Human Resource Management Practitioners (2016)

Equity records

Minimum: 7 years

Maximum: 7 years, unless there is a subsisting reason to retain longer or with consent

From termination

Inland Revenue Ordinance (section 51C);

Code of Practice on Human Resources Management: Compliance Guide for Employers and Human Resource Management Practitioners (2016)

PAYROLL/WAGE/TAX RECORDS

 

 

Payroll and wage data (payslips, etc.)

Including records relating to wage and employment history (wages paid in respect of each wage period, wage period, amount of any end of year payment and the period to which it relates (if applicable), termination date (if applicable), required notice period in case of termination, etc.

Minimum:
- 7 years (Inland Revenue Ordinance)
- Under the Employment Ordinance
(i) Existing employees: 12 months
(ii) Former employees: 6 months

Maximum: 7 years, unless there is a subsisting reason to retain longer or with consent

Minimum:
- Inland Revenue Ordinance: From termination
- Employment Ordinance:
(i) Existing employees: On-going obligation
(ii) Former employees: From termination

Maximum: From termination

Inland Revenue Ordinance (section 51C);

Employment Ordinance (section 49A);

Code of Practice on Human Resources Management: Compliance Guide for Employers and Human Resource Management Practitioners (2016);

Inland Revenue Department: What tax obligation do I have as an Employer?

Tax records

Minimum: 7 years

Maximum: 7 years, unless there is a subsisting reason to retain longer or with consent

From termination

Inland Revenue Ordinance (section 51C);

Code of Practice on Human Resources Management: Compliance Guide for Employers and Human Resource Management Practitioners (2016)

Minimum wage records (total hours employee worked in a wage period if the rate of wages payable in that wage period is less than the monetary cap set by the government)

Minimum:
- Existing employees: 12 months
- Former employees: 6 months

Maximum: 7 years, unless there is a subsisting reason to retain longer or with consent

*some individuals are excluded from this requirement (ex. student interns and work experience students during a period of exempt student employment)

Minimum:
- Existing employees: On-going obligation
- Former employees: From termination

Maximum: From termination

Employment Ordinance (section 49A);

Code of Practice on Human Resources Management: Compliance Guide for Employers and Human Resource Management Practitioners (2016);

Minimum Wage Ordinance

MEDICAL/SAFETY/LEAVE RECORDS

Leave (family, medical, etc.)

Sick, maternity, paternity and annual leave records as required by the Employment Ordinance (basically periods of leave taken and associated payments)

Minimum:
- Existing employees: 12 months
- Former employees: 6 months

Maximum:
7 years, unless there is a subsisting reason to retain longer or with consent

Minimum:
-Existing employees: On-going obligation
-Former employees: From termination

Maximum: From termination

Employment Ordinance (section 15B, 37, 41G, 49A)

Code of Practice on Human Resources Management: Compliance Guide for Employers and Human Resource Management Practitioners (2016)

Injury and illness incident reports

Maximum: 7 years, unless there is a subsisting reason to retain longer or with consent

From termination

Code of Practice on Human Resources Management: Compliance Guide for Employers and Human Resource Management Practitioners (2016)

Medical records

Maximum: 7 years, unless there is a subsisting reason to retain longer or with consent

From termination

Code of Practice on Human Resources Management: Compliance Guide for Employers and Human Resource Management Practitioners (2016)

Hazardous material and other exposure records

Maximum: 7 years, unless there is a subsisting reason to retain longer or with consent

From termination

Code of Practice on Human Resources Management: Compliance Guide for Employers and Human Resource Management Practitioners (2016)

 

 


Led by PeopleDoc’s Chief Legal & Compliance Officer, the HR Compliance Assist team relies on a network of internal and external compliance experts and lawyers, including the global law firm Morgan Lewis, to provide clients with best practices and recommendations on topics such as HR document retention, employee data privacy, and HR electronic records. HR Compliance Assist also provides local compliance monitoring and alert services in select countries where PeopleDoc’s customers have employees. HR Compliance Assist is a service exclusively available to PeopleDoc customers.

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