Is it necessary to keep employee file in physical form?

employee file in physical form


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For many big companies, it is means a lot of paperwork when it comes to employee file in physical form since the number of employees is incredibly huge and there is a lot of paperwork for each one of them. Although in some cases it is necessary to have it, you can learn other ways to maintain these files organized.

In this article, you will learn everything you need to know about maintaining employee file and the reasons why it is necessary to maintain it in physical form in some specific cases. You will also learn some tips to keep your employee records organized and systematized to help you maintain order. Let’s observe:

1. What is an employee file and what does it have to contain?

2. Is it mandatory to maintain employee file in physical form?

3. Should you use paper or digitalization to organize your employee files?

4. Top employee files best practices and tips to organize your files better.

5. How can Connect Resources help you get more information about employee file maintenance?

1. What is an employee file and what does it have to contain?

The employee file is the sum of every record that each of your employees has, and which includes everything related to the history of their professional career and life. It is mandatory to have these files inside every company, no matter the country where the companies are located or established.

If you need to design an organized system in which you can classify your files better and make it easier to find anything in it, we will give you some recommendations to create it and make more efficient your company’s employee file system. Having your stuff organized can be considered as part of the general working rules for an ideal employer.

1.1. Why do you need to maintain employee files?

The importance of these documents relies on the fact that they help employers to find and record relevant information about their employees, including their experience, skills, roles, responsibilities, and more. Employee file also serves as evidence of their behavior in previous jobs and in the current one, which you can use in any case that you think necessary.

Besides, these records help you to protect and defend yourself in case your employees claim against you. This is because the file serves as a recorder of every relevant action of each employee, including what they did and how the treatment they received was within the company. This fact also helps when it comes to making business decisions with the employee.

Another reason why you need to maintain your employee file is to help your employees update their professional information, which will help them get new jobs in case they leave the company. You will be able to add reviews and comments about their performance during his stay in your business.

Job-related documentation will also help you during interviews and other procedures before welcoming new candidates. During interviews, whether they are remote interviews or not, you can take note of relevant information and start making your employee file. Now it is time to see what element you have to include while creating these documents.

1.2. What elements do you need to include in this type of file?

You may need more information about the elements you should include when writing a new employee file. Specific information about the employee is what you need, starting from basic personal information: name, age, nationality, job or occupation, marital status, place of residence, date of employment, wage, imposed penalties, occupational injuries or diseases, among other details.

Other important information, such as job application, CV, and cover letter, will be necessary. Let’s see what to keep in employee personnel files:

  • Education and previous employment information.
  • Job offer letter and employment contract.
  • Relevant training records.
  • Interview documentation.
  • A receipt or signed acknowledgment of the employee handbook.
  • Main role description.
  • Payroll and benefits information without bank details.
  • Emergency contact information.
  • Performance evaluation forms and reviews.
  • Warning and disciplinary action reports.
  • Employee resignation letter.
  • Documents regarding worker’s departure from the company.

If there is any other relevant piece of information regarding employment, it will be useful to add it to these files, especially when it is about key aspects of the employee. Take into account that observations can be relevant in an employee file. Not relevant information or unnecessary material (such as ethnicity or disability details) can be discarded from the files.

2. Is it mandatory to maintain employee file in physical form?

As we mentioned previously, the employee file is a resource that contains information regarding each worker of a company, including personal information and other records related to their professional life in the company. If you own a big company, it is probable that having these records in physical form will require a lot of paperwork and space to store it.

In the United Arab Emirates, the labor law establishes as mandatory that the employee records must be maintained, though it does not really mention anything about keeping a physical form. Despite this detail, most companies assume that the physical files must be kept along with the digital ones, which represent the best way to do this task.

In case you need to present these files to a labor officer, you can present the digital form first and print it if it is necessary or if the officer requires it. With this simple practice, you will not have to worry about keeping tons of pointless paperwork inside your offices, occupying a lot of your space.

It is worthy to mention that the law does not state the location where these documents should be maintained, which means that you could have them and keep them safe at a remote location. However, it is better to have them close. It is will make it easier to reach them when it is needed.

3. Should you use paper or digitalization to organize your employee files?

Most employers do not enjoy dealing with employee paperwork, especially when it is not organized. If you think you are not able to put in order these documents, we can show some ways in which you make a better, organized system where you keep your employee files safe and reachable at any time.

Digitalization of every file is the best way you can keep order in your documents, and in case you need to have physical forms, you can just print what you need and use it. Having your files digitalized will bring you many advantages, and the main one will be available spaces in your offices. Just like many other resources, digitalization is one of the technological resources that has impacted the recruitment process for the better.

You will be able to save costs too since you will not have to spend much money on paper material. Growing businesses do not spend space and money on physical employee files, especially in the current times when most procedures can be done online. Another good reason to have your files digitalized is that it will be easier to access them.

Nowadays with the worldwide emergency known as the COVID-19 pandemic, digitalization has become the most useful resource as support for employers during this crisis, just like it has been useful for many other purposes, including remote jobs, interviews, and many other outstanding aspects. However, you will decide whether you prefer digitalization or paper, although you can have both if you desire.

4. Top employee files best practices and tips to organize your files better.

Having your employees’ files organized is among the top employee files best practices you can do. It will not require much effort to find a specific employee’s file with a systematic organization method, and here we will give you some tips and recommendations to help you accomplish this important task.

Let’s begin with the basics, which will include the right of accessing to personnel records. Confidentiality is necessary when it comes to personnel files, and no one besides the manager and the human resources staff should have access to these documents. And of course, each employee can see their files as long as the manager and the HR members agree.

Creating standardized forms and a suitable organization method are important practices you need to do. When you write about your employees’ reviews and observations, you can use standardized forms to ensure accuracy and consistency, and will also help you treat your employees fairly and without causing any act of discrimination. You will be able to develop these skills with time.

Other useful tips you can follow to ensure an efficient organization system regarding employee files, we could mention the following ones:

  • Whether you keep them physically or digitally, you can organize them chronologically. This practice will help you find specific files in a matter of time and without spending too much effort. If you are using a paper filing system, this method will be even more useful for you and your company.
  • According to your company’s size and style, you can choose any of the previously mentioned methods. Paperwork or digital documents are both convenient, but it will depend on these two details. If your company is small, paperwork will be enough to organize your documents. But if your company is large and has hundreds or thousands of employees, digitalization will be the best option.
  • Do not keep any employee file for too long or it will occupy additional space eventually. However, you cannot just delete your employees’ data once they leave the company, instead, you have to hold it for longer to ensure protection for both the company and the employees. Besides, it is mandatory to hold this data for a couple of years right after they leave. Some information you need to keep could be payroll details, working time, training records, and more.
  • Do not occupy more space than needed with not relevant information. Just like we mentioned before, there are some elements that you do not need to keep within the employee files. Some of these elements might be medical records, sensitive content (comments, reviews, or any other content regarding personal information). Remember that elements such as race, gender, religious beliefs, genetic makeup, sexual orientation, or any other related information should not be kept in the personnel files.
  • Setting goals, feedback, or supervisory documentation should be kept in another private file. This information has the purpose of supervising employees’ work, and only the manager or supervisor should access this file. Keeping it apart from the employee is a good practice that every employer should do all the time in their businesses to ensure privacy.

5. How can Connect Resources help you get more information about employee file maintenance?

Connect Resources

Keeping your employee files in order is an important matter that you, as an ideal employer, should consider as such. The Connect Resources team can offer you a helping hand in case you need more information and professional advice regarding this and many other affairs related to your company’s growth.

Besides getting more information and recommendations about efficient and organized employee files maintenance, we can also provide you with different useful services to make improvements in your employee file system and your company’s human resources department, including HR consultancy services and many others that you would probably like to try.

Keep in mind that getting help from the experts will help you boost your business significantly, and that includes making improvements in your methods and processes to make everything more efficient and easier for everyone. Do not hesitate and contact Connect Resources to obtain more details about our useful business services.

Would you like to contact Connect Resources to get more information regarding employee file maintenance and professional tips to improve your methods? You can call at +971 433 166 88 or send an email to, and you will talk to one of their representatives that will gladly answer all of your questions.

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