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How to Maintain Employee Records

The foundU Team
May 22, 2022
7 Min Read
How to Maintain Employee Records

Maintaining employee records is an essential part of your business. 

It helps you have a clear overview of every employee, their payroll, benefits and schedule, and helps your company stay compliant.

But how do you maintain employee records? How long should you keep them, and how should you stay on top of them as your company grows? Read on!


The importance of maintaining employee records

All your employee files should be accurate and up to date because… that’s the law. The Fair Work Act 2009 requires you to keep correct tax and wage information, employee information, and other essential documentation. If you fail to provide these records upon request, you could face steep legal ramifications.

You can also use employee records to prevent costly litigation. For example, if an employee is terminated on unfriendly terms, up-to-date and accurate employee records can provide proof that your actions (such as termination of employment) were valid and justified.

Additionally, thorough employee records will help you assess the competency and work ethics of each of your employees. This may come in handy when you’re thinking about offering a promotion, or if you’re faced with the possibility of downsizing.


What information should I capture for employee records?

Some of the essential information you should keep in all employee files includes, but is not limited to:

  • Name, address, contact details
  • Start date
  • Department
  • All payroll activity
  • Benefits
  • Employment contract
  • Insurance 
  • Schedules and timesheets

It’s also a good idea to also keep a record of performance reviews, resumes, and job applications.

There’s an abundance of information you’ll need to collect on each employee, and you’ll benefit from relying on advanced solutions and employee management software.


Tips and best practices for maintaining employee records

There are several things you can do to streamline and optimise your employee record keeping. Here are some best practices.


#1: Have a clearly outlined policy for employee record keeping

Every business is different, and you won’t find the two same record-keeping policies anywhere. Regardless of how you decide to stay on top of employee records, it’s of utmost importance to clearly define how you collect and store essential information.

Identify which information is vital, determine who has access to employee records from the Fair Work Act, define how often the records will be reviewed for accuracy, and set rules that will prevent employees from altering any information (unless it’s to correct an error).


#2: Store staff records electronically

If you’re running a small operation, it might make sense to keep paper copies of employee records. However, as your company grows, you’ll find it challenging to stay on top of paper files.

That’s why it’s in your best interest to store staff records electronically. As a comprehensive workforce management solution, the foundU platform enables you to customise onboarding to request any document or detail your business requires and store it against a single employee record. No more paper wrangling or admin.


#3: Store employee data in a single system

As well as storing staff records electronically, it's also in your best interest to store everything in a single system. By doing so, you can:

  • Make data more accessible for you and your employees
  • Decrease the risk of human error and double handling
  • Enjoy greater data security and reduce the risk of breaches
  • Increase the efficiency your business

With a single system like the foundU platform, a single employee record holds the right documents and details from the start (no double-ups or paper wrangling). With everything in the one system, you'll enjoy all of the above plus greater oversight of your employees.

Employee onboarding

#4: Separate personnel, payroll and medical files

As a general rule of thumb, you’ll want to separate confidential files into several different categories. That will help you with finding and accessing all records quickly and efficiently.

Personnel files should include employee information, employment contract, performance reviews, termination information, and more.

Salary, benefits, compensation, and other payroll information should be kept in a separate payroll file. Finally, medical files should include health information, insurance, injury reports, and the like.


#5: Know how long to keep employee records in Australia

As a general rule of thumb, most employee records need to be kept for five to seven years.

Employee details, roster, payroll information, workers compensation insurance, superannuation contribution, and more should be kept for seven years. Tax and superannuation details should be kept for five years.


The bottom line

Staying on top of all employee records is critical, but it can be a complicated and time-consuming task. With the help of foundU, you can streamline and automate employee record keeping and ensure the utmost accuracy of information by eliminating the factor of human error.


Want to know more about foundU? Book a Demo.