As a business owner, knowing everything about the workers you hire is important. Keeping a record of this data is crucial for future reference. In other states, holding such records is a requirement. Did you know there’s a way you can’t handle your workers’ records? Wrongful handling can lead to lawsuits and other non-compliance consequences.
How, then, should you manage worker records? Here are some practices to adopt:
1. Go Digital
Physically and manually storing employee records is a practice that’s been there for many years. Despite the many years of adoption, it’s not an ideal solution. There’s a probability you have these records in a storage room. Accessing specific documents can prove challenging—it’ll take a long time, reducing productivity. There’s also a possibility of losing records in all the mess.
Hence, it’s best to go digital. It entails storing the documents digitally on your computer systems. Digital storage enhances security since you can control who accesses the data. Going digital also allows for the easy retrieval of records. You only need a few mouse clicks.
Go digital by investing in document management software. It’ll help you store, manage, track, and share worker records. It might be challenging, especially if you have an old physical storage system. However, you can do bulk document scanning of the records. Scanning transforms physical documents into digital ones, which you’ll store on the software.
2. Familiarize Yourself With Legal Requirements
Laws exist to regulate operations and protect the rights of all individuals. Most, if not all, states have laws surrounding worker record keeping. It’s important to know what applies in your state. Doing so ensures you don’t go contrary and suffer penalties. Lawsuits are also possible, which eat into company time and money.
The internet provides all the information you require. It’d also help to inquire about these rules with your state’s labour department. Common data you’ll find is but isn’t limited to:
The need for accurate data-keepingThe minimum years to hold worker records, including after terminationWhat the records should include, e.g., payroll data, gross and net amounts paid, and leaves accruedMinimal standards for data privacy
It’s important to keep going through these regulations as they change frequently. You want to remain up-to-date and always conform.
3. Practice Proper Record Disposal
Keeping worker records is important, and it’s also a legal requirement. However, there’s a high possibility of the records being too many and you run out of storage. In such situations, disposal is the only way out. You want to do this securely so no one can access the data.
There are various ways to dispose of the records securely. One solution is shredding. It’s an effective method for physical records like when you were going digital. For digital records, consider deleting and overwriting the files. Alternatively, you can destroy the hard drive on which you stored the records.
As you dispose of worker records, take note of the legal requirements. Ensure you don’t destroy that which hasn’t met the legal threshold. For example, don’t destroy records that haven’t met the minimum 7-year storage threshold.
4. Limit Access
Worker records contain personal information about workers. Confidentiality is needed, especially if you run background checks before hiring. Should such data get into the wrong hands, there’s a possibility of blackmail. Also, the workers could face ridicule among themselves, which interferes with their self-esteem and productivity.
Therefore, limit access. Doing so protects your workers and establishes trust between top management and workers. Limit access by only having the human resources (HR) manager, employer, and accountants access the data. Since accountants don’t often need this data, have them seek permission to access the records.
5. Develop A Disaster Recovery Plan
Data breaches are likely to happen, especially if you go digital in keeping your workers’ records. It’s always advisable to hope for the best but expect the worst. In this case, expect and prepare for the worst by developing a disaster recovery plan. It details how you’ll overcome data breaches and recover stolen data.
The plan should be detailed and have the following:
The personnel responsible for the recoveryThe communication channelThe step-by-step procedure into the recovery
It’s important to inform your worker of the existence of the plan. Also, train them in the process. Consider performing drills to ensure they’ve grasped the process. Doing so assures you they’re ready to face any breach, even in your absence.
Managing workers’ records is all about knowing the regulations and adhering to them. The discussion above details how to do so. Implementing these practices is best; you’ll comply and protect your workers.
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