HR Record Retention Requirements

India - Summary Chart

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INDIA


DOCUMENTS

RETENTION PERIOD
(minimum and/or maximum)

BEGINNING OF  RETENTION PERIOD

LEGAL REFERENCE

EMPLOYMENT RECORDS

Contracts
(new hire agreements, severance, etc.)

Minimum 3 years from the date of termination of employment

From date of signing employment agreement or severance agreement

Payment of Wages Act, 1936; Minimum Wages Act (MW Laws); The Limitation Act 1963

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

Broad retention rules vary:
State-specific shops and establishment laws: Varies by location from minimum of 1 to 6 years. Example, in Karnataka (Bangalore), the leave with wages register needs to be maintained for 3 years and other registers need to be preserved for 1 year. In Telangana (Hyderabad), the records need to be preserved for 3 years and in Maharashtra (Mumbai), for a period of 2 years

Minimum wage laws:
Documents that need to be retained include overtime registers, muster rolls and wage registers and must be retained for a period of 3 years

From date of the last entry

State-specific shops and establishments Acts & Rules (S&E Laws); Minimum Wages Act (MW Laws)

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

Minimum 3 years from the date of termination of employment

From date of creation/issuance of such documents

The Limitation Act 1963

Data and personnel files

Best practice is 3 years (statute of limitations)

From employee termination date

The Limitation Act 1963

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

Minimum 3 years

From employee termination date

Payment of Wages Act, 1936; Minimum Wages Act (MW Laws); The Limitation Act 1963

Collective bargaining/
union

Best practice 3 years after expiration (statute of limitations) 

From the date of the collective bargaining/union agreements

The Limitation Act 1963

Background checks and drug tests

Minimum 3 years from employee termination date

From the date of creation

Payment of Wages Act, 1936; Minimum Wages Act (MW Laws); The Limitation Act 1963

Acknowledgements, policy agreements and required notices

Best practice is 3 years from date the acknowledgement/notice/ policy is no longer effective OR 3 years from date of employment termination 

From date of creation of the policy agreements, issue of receipt of acknowledgments, issue of notices, etc.

The Limitation Act 1963

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

Unsuccessful candidates: Minimum 1 year from the date of rejection

Successful candidates:
Minimum 3 years from the date of termination of employment

From date of creation/collection of the recruitment records

Payment of Wages Act, 1936; Minimum Wages Act (MW Laws); The Limitation Act 1963

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

Best practice 3 years after expiration (statute of limitations) 

From date of creation of tracking/recording data

The Limitation Act 1963

BENEFIT/PENSION/EQUITY RECORDS

Benefits (plan documents, enrollment records)

ESI Laws: Register of employees, accident books, accounts in relation to contribution amounts, consolidated annual contribution statement, etc. min. 5 years.
PF Laws: No specific period. Authorities have initiated actions in the past where all records and registers required under the PF Laws have been requested. It is therefore advisable to retain for  maximum duration possible.
WF Laws: Register of wages and a consolidated register of unclaimed wages and fines (maintain in each location) - Varies. In States such as Maharashtra, retain for min. 10 years, while in States such as Telengana, retain for min. 5 years. There's no min. or max. retention period in Karnataka.
Other benefit plans and documents: Best practice 3 years (statute of limitations) 

ESI and WF Laws: From date of last entry (as applicable)

PF Laws: From date of generation/ creation/issuance/filing of contribution related documents

Other Benefit plans and documents: From date of supersession

ESI ACT (ESI Laws); PF Act and the schemes on provident fund, pension and insurance framed (PF Laws); Labour Welfare Fund Acts and Rules (WF Laws) and state specific laws; The Limitation Act 1963

Pension and retirement records

No specific period. PF authorities have initiated actions in the past where all records and registers required to be maintained under the PF Laws have been requested. It is therefore advisable to retain the records for the maximum duration possible.

From date of generation/ creation/issuance/filing of contribution related documents

PF Act and the schemes on provident fund, pension and insurance framed (PF Laws)

Equity records

Register of members: no minimum or maximum (ongoing compliance)

Documents relating to employee stock options: minimum 3 years after option has lapsed (keeping in mind the limitation period of claims concerning such options)

From date of first entry

Companies Act, 2013; The Limitation Act 1963

PAYROLL/WAGE/TAX RECORDS

Payroll and wage data (payslips, etc.)

State-specific shops and establishment laws: Varies by location from a minimum of 1 year to 6 years. For instance, in Karnataka (Bangalore),  leave with wages register needs to be maintained for 3 years and other registers need to be preserved for 1 year. In Telangana (Hyderabad), records need to be preserved for 3 years and in Maharashtra (Mumbai), for a period of 2 years.
Minimum wage laws: Documents that need to be retained include overtime registers, muster rolls and wage registers. Minimum 3 years in Karnataka and Maharashtra. In Telangana, the documents need to be retained for 12 months.
Payment wage laws: Minimum 3 years (in most locations).
Company Laws: Books of accounts capturing paid salaries and wages retain for 9 years.

From date of last entry

State-specific shops and establishments Acts & Rules (S&E Laws); Minimum Wages Act (MW Laws); Payment of Wages Act, 1936 and state-specific Rules (PW Laws); Companies Act, 2013

Tax records

Tax records (income tax returns and supporting documents) 6 years for domestic transactions and 8 years for international transactions

From relevant assessment year or date which records came into existence

Income Tax Act, 1961

MEDICAL/SAFETY/LEAVE RECORDS

Leave (family, medical, etc.)

Varies by location. in Karnataka (Bangalore), the leave with wages register needs to be maintained for 3 years and other registers need to be preserved for 1 year. In Telangana (Hyderabad), the records need to be preserved for 3 years and in Maharashtra (Mumbai), for a period of 2 years.

From date of last entry

State-specific shops and establishments Acts & Rules (S&E Laws); Minimum Wages Act (MW Laws)

Injury and illness incident reports

Accident-related documents minimum 5 years (must be retained at each office location)

 From date of last entry

Employees' State Insurance Regulations, 1950 (ESI Regulations)

Medical records

Sensitive Personal Information (SPI) maximum - no longer than required under law or required for the purpose for which the SPI may lawfully be used

From date of collection of data which forms part of the medical records

Information Technology (Reasonable Security Practices and Procedures and Sensitive Personal Data or Information) Rules, 2011 (IT Rules); Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 (ID Act)

Hazardous material and other exposure records

In general, S&E Laws do not require maintenance of records pertaining to hazardous material and other exposure, but this can vary based on location.

Records of workers exposed to any chemical/toxic/harmful substances in a factory with with manufacturing activities should be retained but there is no minimum/maximum.

Records related to generation, collection, reception, storage, transportation, treatment, disposal or any other form of handling of bio-medical waste: 5 years

No specific retention period


Biomedical waste: From date of first entry

Factories Act; Biomedical Waste Management Rules, 2016

 

Ultimate Software's HR Compliance Assist team relies on a network of internal and external compliance experts and lawyers 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 Ultimate Software's customers have employees. HR Compliance Assist is a service exclusively available to Ultimate Software customers.

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