What's in your HR files?

Updated: Jan 8

A huge part of ensuring compliance is keeping detailed, accurate records. If you haven't got a record of having done something, you have no proof it took place. This is particularly important in an employment tribunal scenario where, once the proof of the claim has been established by the employee, the burden of evidence is with the employer to prove they have acted properly, and in accordance with their own policies and procedures.

In this case, what should you keep in your files, how do you know what you need?


Typically, an HR file will hold:


  • personal information - date of birth, address, bank details, NI number

  • copies of letters and/or emails

  • reward data - pay, bonus, benefits

  • training records

  • absence data - holiday, sickness,

  • disciplinary / grievance information

  • emergency contact details

  • performance reviews

  • terms and conditions of employment

  • qualification information

  • role definitions

  • policy acknowledgements

  • flexible working requests and outcomes


Ideally, your records will be dated and consistent. You will be able to create a timeline of pay and bonus records for example. Where you are making decisions that relate to whether or not an employee is receiving a pay increase, or a bonus for example, you will keep a record of that decision making process, and what the criteria was.


HR records should be audited regularly to ensure the personal data you hold is valid - ie accurate and not out of date, that you are not keeping any records for longer than you need to, and that you are not missing any key documents.


Ideally you'll keep centralised records of your HR files and My Office Fairy recommends using Breathe HR as your HR Information System. Breathe HR gives your employees access to certain documents and pieces of information, allows you to record and manage holiday easily and helps maintain compliance within your business.


Whilst every care has been taken in compiling this information, My Office Fairy Ltd cannot be held responsible for any errors or omissions and the information is not intended as a substitute for specific legal advice.


If you need support with anything discussed above, or any other aspect of your business, My Office Fairy are here to help so just get in touch.

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