Personnel File Access Policy Example

personnel file access policy

Employee File Access Policy is essential for a company to preserve the integrity and personal information of its employees.

Undue usage of any information can cause severe implications resulting in legal cases and lower employee morale. Thus, this policy plays an important role in authorising and establishing a hierarchy in release of confidential as well non-confidential information about its employees. This policy benefits its new, existing as well as old employees alike.
Apart from governing the release of information and personnel files, the policy also mandates and administers the maintenance of the aforesaid files.

Policy

The Company maintains records of all its employees who are or were working with the company. The records are maintained in personnel files and are done for compliance as well as for various decision-making activities.

This policy governs employees’ access or alteration to their personnel file.

Content Of The Personnel File

The Personnel File contains personal information pertaining to the employee’s official records, medical-related documents, confidential and other sensitive records.

  • Official Personnel File
    • Documents submitted during the time of job application: Application, Resume, Verification of Qualifications.
    • Records relating to the job description and the employee’s career progression.
    • Payroll Records relating to salaries and incentives.
    • Attendance records along with supporting documents in cases such as illness, jury duty and bureaucratic or juristic appearances.
    • Disciplinary notices and actions that are taken.
    • Requests and changes made to an employee’s work location.
    • Awards and letters of recognition.
  • Health Related Documents:
    • Documents containing medical information about the client or his family
    • Letter or release and other medical notes.
    • Documents pertaining to medical leaves taken by the employee.
    • Any correspondence about the employee’s health
  • Other Confidential Information:
    • Any Investigation Records.
    • Drug test results.
    • Equal employment opportunity or veteran status records.
    • Child support documents.
    • Reference and background checks.
    • Immigration forms in case of foreign employees.
    • Requests for payroll verification and workers compensation claims.
  • At the same time, there are some personal records which should be maintained in a different file in a discreet manner.
    • Pre-employment notes such as interview notes.
    • Whistleblower as well as informal complaints and investigations.
    • Supervisor’s working notes and files.
    • Notes on documents that are opinionated or make strong judgements without being supported by fact or documentation.
    • Any notices or restraining orders issued by the court.
    • Documents pertaining to the investigation of a possible criminal offence.

Other personal information such as address, date of birth, passport details, emergency contacts, academic and career progression, etc. is also considered confidential.

The file may also contain information including but not limited to an employee’s performance, behaviour, attendance records and any complaints received.

Access To The Personnel File

No other person other than the employee may request to obtain a copy or review his/ her own personnel file unless otherwise permitted by the law of the land.

Any such access to the file must happen within the normal office hours and within the confines of the Human Resources Department under the supervision of a human resource executive.

Any such employees accessing their files may login their details in the Personnel File Access Register.

Providing any unauthorised access to the information contained in the personnel files can have serious legal implications for the company. Unless required by law, in which case a legal notice demanding such information should be asked; no other information other than job title or employement dates maybe released. Exceptions can be made for internal inquiries within the company.

Any inquiry from a third party for an employee will be directed to his/her team leader. Enquiries about employement details such as job titile and employment dates must be processed by the payroll services. The employee’s approval must be obtained before releasing any other information about salaries and other compensation.

Alteration In The Personnel File

In an event where an employee is dissatisfied with the content or documents in his/her personnel file, he may request in writing with a clear explanation for the alteration.

Similarly, the employee may even request for the addition of a relevant document to his/her file.

Any such alteration shall be enforced only on approval by a Human Resources Manager and Departmental Head. If the parties involved are unable to reach a conclusion, appeals may be made in accordance with the Open-Door Policy.