How to Safely Get Rid Of Old Employee Records

Thursday, January 5, 2023 3:18 pm, Posted by Absolute Destruction

The period of time that you need to store employee paperwork — including items like pay stubs, timesheets, payroll information and contracts — varies based on your location.

Here in Ontario, you must hold on to employee paperwork for the duration of your employee’s time with you, and then for an additional three years after they’ve left the company before destroying it. An exception to the rule is for any paperwork pertaining to vacation time and pay; this must be retained for five years after the team member has left.

Now that we know when to destroy sensitive documents, let’s discuss why you need to keep them for the durations mentioned above — and how you can safely dispose of them once their hold time has elapsed.

Why Do You Need to Keep Paperwork?

As mentioned, you need to hold on to employee paperwork for the time the team member is with you and then for three to five years — depending on the nature of the papers — after their departure.

Why? In an ideal world, everyone works together in perfect harmony. But sometimes employer and employee relationships can become complicated either during or following employment.

Should a disgruntled employee file a claim in court, and should the employer not have sufficient records to discredit the claim, the employee’s accusation may hold sway and be considered valid.

Furthermore, maintaining up-to-date employee records is a legal obligation in the province.

After the sufficient time frame has passed, you should securely destroy employee papers.

Why Should You Securely Dispose of Employee Records?

Employee records contain a wealth of personal information, including:

  • names,
  • physical addresses,
  • social insurance numbers,
  • dates of birth,
  • email addresses, and
  • phone numbers.

This makes employee paperwork a treasure trove of resources for ruthless thieves, leaving current and former team members open to identity theft.

Identity theft is a serious crime: it happens when an imposter attempts to adopt someone else’s identity to then commit fraud in their name. They can use key pieces of information to open bank accounts, obtain lines of credit and apply for credit cards.

Should employee paperwork fall into the wrong hands, the company will be left open to lawsuits and confidence in the business will falter for current and future staff, and among clients and collaborators.

How Can You Safely Dispose of Employee Records?

While you can destroy sensitive records yourself by shredding, burning, or pulping them, each of these options comes with ramifications: cost, environmental issues, and employee time being just a few.

The most secure and time-effective way to destroy employee records is to work with a document shredding service like Absolute Destruction. We provide both onsite and offsite (for large volumes of material) paper shredding services.

For a one-off service, our professional technicians collect and immediately shred your documents.

For regular collections, we can schedule on-site document destruction. A secure deposit box will be placed in your office for your team to drop off any-and-all confidential papers (including employee records). At a regular interval, our technicians will collect and destroy these items.

Once the service is complete, we will provide you with a Certificate of Destruction: a comforting notice for both you and your current team.

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