HR Record Retention Requirements

United Kingdom - Summary Chart

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United Kingdom


DOCUMENTS

RETENTION PERIOD
(minimum and/or maximum)

BEGINNING OF  RETENTION PERIOD

LEGAL REFERENCE

EMPLOYMENT RECORDS

Contracts (new hire agreements, severance, etc.)

Minimum 6 years (General best practice retain 7 years as buffer for claims lodged at end of claim period)

Termination of employment

Sec. 5, Limitation Act 1980

Art. 5(1)(e), General Data Protection Regulation (will  continue to apply post Brexit, Sec. 22, Data Protection Act 2018)

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

Minimum: 3 years  (General best practice retain 4 years from termination to provide buffer for claims lodged at end of claim period)

From day on which pay reference period immediately following the pay period the records relate to ends

Sec. 9, National Minimum Wage Act 1998 and regulation 59, National Minimum Wage Regulations 2015 (SI 2015/621)

Art. 5(1)(e), General Data Protection Regulation (will  continue to apply post Brexit, Sec. 22, Data Protection Act 2018)

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

Minimum 6 years (General best practice retain 7 years as buffer for claims lodged at end of claim period)

Termination of employment


Sec. 5, Limitation Act 1980 

Art. 5(1)(e), General Data Protection Regulation (will  continue to apply post Brexit, Sec. 22, Data Protection Act 2018)

Data and personnel files

Minimum 6 years (General best practice retain 7 years as buffer for claims lodged at end of claim period)

Termination of employment

Sec. 5, Limitation Act 1980

Art. 5(1)(e), General Data Protection Regulation (will  continue to apply post Brexit, Sec. 22, Data Protection Act 2018)

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

Minimum 2 years (General best practice retain 3 years from termination as buffer for claims lodged at end of claim period)

Termination of employment

Immigration checks minimum period: Sec. 15(7)(c), Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006 and Art. 6(b), Immigration (Restrictions on Employment) Order 2007 (SI 2007/3290)

Art. 5(1)(e), General Data Protection Regulation (will  continue to apply post Brexit, Sec. 22, Data Protection Act 2018)

Collective bargaining/union

Minimum 6 years  (General best practice retain 7 years as buffer for claims lodged at end of claim period)

Termination of employment

Sec. 5, Limitation Act 1980

Art. 5(1)(e), General Data Protection Regulation (will  continue to apply post Brexit, Sec. 22, Data Protection Act 2018)

Background checks and drug tests

Disclosure and Barring Services (DBS) checks and criminal records forms: Maximum 6 months after collection of data (a record of whether result was satisfactory may be retained in personnel file). In exceptional circumstances (where check is relevant to ongoing employment relationship) details of criminal check may be retained longer.

Creation or receipt of record

DBS Code of Practice

Art. 5(1)(e), General Data Protection Regulation (will  continue to apply post Brexit, Sec. 22, Data Protection Act 2018)

Acknowledgements, policy agreements and required notices

Minimum 6 years (General best practice retain 7 years as buffer for claims lodged at end of claim period)

Termination of employment

Sec. 5, Limitation Act 1980

Art. 5(1)(e), General Data Protection Regulation (will  continue to apply post Brexit, Sec. 22, Data Protection Act 2018)

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

Maximum 6 months (unless longer retention period agreed with the candidate)

After candidate is notified they were unsuccessful

Guidance from The Information Commissioner Employment Practices Code Part 1: recruitment and selection (1.7)

Art. 5(1)(e), General Data Protection Regulation (will  continue to apply post Brexit, Sec. 22, Data Protection Act 2018)

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

Only as long as strictly necessary

Creation or receipt of record

Art. 5(1)(e), General Data Protection Regulation (will  continue to apply post Brexit, Sec. 22, Data Protection Act 2018)

Data concerning temporary worker

Minimum 6 years (General best practice retain 7 years as buffer for claims lodged at end of claim period)

Termination of employment

Art. 5(1)(e), General Data Protection Regulation (will  continue to apply post Brexit, Sec. 22, Data Protection Act 2018)


Registration of work and rest periods, Working time opt-out forms, Records showing compliance with Working Time Regulations 1998

Working time opt-out forms: Minimum 2 years from date which they were entered into

Records showing compliance with Working Time Regulations: Minimum 2 years after relevant period

General best practice retain for 3 years after termination (provides buffer for claims lodged at end of claim period)

Termination of employment

Minimum (working time opt-out forms): regulations 5 and 9 of the Working Time Regulations

Minimum (records to show compliance with Working Time Regulations): regulations 5, 7, and 9 of the Working Time Regulations

Art. 5(1)(e), General Data Protection Regulation (will  continue to apply post Brexit, Sec. 22, Data Protection Act 2018)

BENEFIT/PENSION/EQUITY RECORDS

Benefits (plan documents, enrollment records)

Minimum 6 years (General best practice retain 7 years as buffer for claims lodged at end of claim period)

Termination of employment

Art. 5(1)(e), General Data Protection Regulation (will  continue to apply post Brexit, Sec. 22, Data Protection Act 2018)

Pension records

Direct Contribution Scheme: Minimum 6 years

Direct Benefit ('Final Salary') Scheme: Minimum 15

Master Trust: Minimum 6 years or the period stipulated in trust documents, whichever is longer

Direct Contribution Scheme: Termination of employment

Direct Benefit ('Final Salary') Scheme: When benefits cease being payable in relation to a member

Master Trust: When employee leaves scheme

Sec. 5, Limitation Act 1980

Regulation 18 Registered Pension Scheme (Provision of Information) Regulations 2006 (SI 2006/567)

Pension Scheme Act 2017

Master Trust Scheme document (if applicable)

Equity records

Employee share plan related records: Minimum 6 years or, if executed as a deed, 12 years. General best practice 7 years or, if executed as a deed, 13 years to provide buffer for claims lodged at end of limitation period.

Later of the award of shares under share plan; or the vesting of shares under share plan

Secs., 5 and 8, Limitation Act 1980

PAYROLL/WAGE/TAX RECORDS

 

 

Payroll and wage data (payslips, etc.)

Minimum 6 years from financial year-end in which payments were made (Unincorporated businesses: Minimum 5 years after 31 January following the year of assessment). General best practice retain 7 years as buffer for claims lodged at end of claim period.

Termination of employment

Paragraph 21, Schedule 18, Finance Act 1998

Tax records

Minimum 5 years after January 31 following the year of assessment (General best practice retain 7 years as buffer for claims lodged at end of claim period)

Termination of employment

Sec. 12B, Taxes Management Act 1970

Bank details

No longer than necessary once employment/ engagement has terminated and final payment made

Termination of employment

Art. 5(1)(e), General Data Protection Regulation (will  continue to apply post Brexit, Sec. 22, Data Protection Act 2018)


Pay As You Earn (“PAYE”) records, (system for collecting income tax and national insurance contributions from employees’ salaries)

Minimum 3 years (Common best practice retain 4 years after termination)

After end of tax year to which record relates

Regulation 97, Income Tax (Pay As You Earn) Regulations 2003 (SI 2003/2682

MEDICAL/SAFETY/LEAVE RECORDS

Leave (family, medical, etc.)

General: Minimum 6 years or longer where leave has been carried over from year to year (General best practice retain 7 years as buffer for claims lodged at end of claim period)

Maternity pay records: Minimum 3 years after end of tax year in which maternity pay period ends (General best practice retain 4 years after termination to provide  buffer for claims lodged at end of termination period)

Termination of employment

Art. 5(1)(e), General Data Protection Regulation (will  continue to apply post Brexit, Sec. 22, Data Protection Act 2018)

Maternity Pay: Regulation 26, Statutory Maternity Pay (General) Regulations 1986 (SI 1986/1960)

Injury and illness incident reports

Minimum 3 years from date report was made  (General best practice retain 4 years after termination)

Termination of employment

Schedule 1, Part II, Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013 (SI 2013/1471)

Medical records

Minimum (medical exams related to hazardous substances): 40 years (if record is representative of personal exposure of identifiable employees) or 5 years (all other cases)

Maximum (other medical records): 7 years after end of tax year in which employee terminates

Creation of record, receipt of record, or date of last update to record

Minimum (medical exams related to hazardous substances): Regulation 10(5), Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002, SI 2002/2677

Hazardous material and other exposure records

Records monitoring exposure of employees to substances hazardous to health: Minimum 40 years (if  record is representative of personal exposure of identifiable employees) or 5 years (other cases)

Records of those exposed to asbestos: Minimum 40 years from date last entry was made

Creation of record, receipt of record, or date of last update to record

Regulation 10(5), Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002, SI 2002/2677

Regulation 22 Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012, SI 2012/632

Necessary data for emergency medical care, individual reintegration plans, individual treatment agreements, degree of incapacity for work, required workplace adaptations

Minimum 6 years (General best practice retain 7 years as buffer for claims lodged at end of claim period)

Termination of employment

Sec. 5, Limitation Act 1980

Art. 5(1)(e), General Data Protection Regulation (will  continue to apply post Brexit, Sec. 22, Data Protection Act 2018)

 

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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