Managing your employee records is an essential part of your business. It helps you have a clear overview of every employee, their payroll, benefits, roster and helps your company stay compliant with tax regulations while avoiding costly lawsuits.

But how do you maintain workplace records? How long should you keep them, and how should you stay on top of them as your company grows? Let’s find out.

The Importance of Staying on Top of Employee Records

All your employee files must be accurate and up to date because… that’s the law. The Fair Work Act 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 may face steep fines and legal ramifications.

You can also use an employee record to prevent costly litigation. Upon employee termination, your company faces a potential risk of a lawsuit. If your employee records are up to date and accurate, you 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 every staff member. This may come in handy when you’re thinking about offering a promotion, or if you’re faced with the possibility of downsizing.

Employee Record Keeping: Which Information to Include?

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 
  • Rosters 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.

How Do You Maintain Workplace Records: Tips and Best Practices

There are several things you can do to streamline and optimise your employee record keeping. Here are some of the 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, foundU’s platform provides you with user-friendly features that enable you to keep up with your employees and manage all their records and files.

#3: 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.

#4: Know How Long to Keep Employee Records in Australia

As a general rule of thumb, most employee records need to be kept for 5 to 7 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’s a complicated and time-consuming task. With the help of foundU, you’ll automate employee record keeping and ensure the utmost accuracy of information by eliminating the factor of human error.

Contact us for more information about how our workforce management software can help your business enhance efficiency and productivity, and master the art of record keeping.