Employee's personal files - how to keep them from 2019?


Each employer is obliged to keep personal files for their employees. This is due to the Labor Code, the Pensions and Disability Pensions Act, as well as the new regulation on keeping employee records. Their improper conduct is subject to criminal liability. What should contain and how should the employee's personal files be kept in accordance with the provisions in force from 2019? We answer below.

What should the employee's personal file contain?

The regulations specify in detail how to collect and store employee records. Due to the type of documents, currently the employee's personal file can be divided into 3 parts - A, B and C, and from 2019 there will be another part - D.

Part A - Documents related to applying for a job

Part A of the employee's personal files consist of statements or documents regarding personal data collected in connection with applying for employment. This should also include referrals for medical examinations and medical certificates regarding initial, periodic and follow-up medical examinations (Article 229 § 1 point 1, § 11 and 12 of the Labor Code).

Part B - Establishing the employment relationship and the course of employment

This part of the employee documentation is devoted in particular to documents created in the course of employment. These include:

  1. statements or documents regarding personal data collected in connection with the establishment of an employment relationship,

  2. an employment contract, and if the contract has not been concluded in writing - confirmation of the arrangements as to the parties to the contract, the type of contract and its terms,

  3. scope of activities (scope of duties), if the employer additionally specified the employee's tasks resulting from the type of work specified in the employment contract in this form,

  4. documents concerning the performance of work by an employee in special conditions or of a special nature within the meaning of the provisions of the Act of 19 December 2008 on bridging pensions (Journal of Laws of 2017, item 664 and of 2018, item 138),

  5. confirmation of being read by the employee:

  • with the content of the work regulations or announcements,
  • with the provisions and rules of occupational health and safety,
  • with the scope of confidential information specified in separate regulations for a given type of work, position or function performed,
  1. confirmation that the employee has been informed:

  • on the terms of employment and the change in terms of employment,
  • about the purpose, scope and method of application of monitoring,
  • on the occupational risk related to the work performed and the principles of protection against threats,
  1. confirmation of receipt by the juvenile employee and his statutory representative of information on the occupational risk related to the work performed by the adolescent and on the principles of protection against threats,

  2. documents confirming the completion of the required training in occupational health and safety,

  3. statements regarding the termination of employment or remuneration conditions or changes to these conditions in a different manner,

  4. documents regarding entrusting the employee with property with the obligation to return or to calculate, documents regarding the employee's acceptance of joint material liability for the entrusted property, including the obligation to calculate,

  5. documents related to the improvement of professional qualifications by the employee or related to acquiring or supplementing knowledge and skills on principles other than those related to the improvement of professional qualifications,

  6. documents related to granting an employee an award or distinction,

  7. documents related to the application and use by an employee of maternity leave, leave on the terms of maternity leave, parental leave, paternity leave or parental leave,

  8. documents related to combining the use of parental leave with the performance of work for the employer granting this leave,

  9. documents related to the reduction in working time, in the case of an employee entitled to parental leave,

  10. statement of the employee who is the parent or guardian of the child about the intention or lack of intention to use the rights related to parentage,

  11. documents related to granting unpaid leave,

  12. referrals for medical examinations and medical certificates concerning:

  • initial medical examinations (Article 229 § 1 point 2 of the Labor Code),
  • periodic and control medical examinations (Article 229 § 2, 3 and 5 of the Labor Code),
  1. a non-competition agreement, if the parties concluded such an agreement during the period of employment,

  2. an employee's request to inform the competent district labor inspector about the employment of night workers and a copy of the information on this matter addressed to the competent labor inspector,

  3. documents related to the cooperation of the employer with the trade union organization representing the employee or other entities in matters related to the employment relationship that require such cooperation,

  4. documents concerning the performance of work in the form of telework;

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Part C - Termination of Employment

All documents related to the termination or expiry of the employment relationship should be kept here, i.e .:

a) statements related to the termination of the employment contract,

b) applications for the issuance, correction or supplementation of a work certificate,

c) documents relating to the failure to pay the employee a cash equivalent for annual leave,

d) a copy of the issued employment certificate,

e) confirmation of activities related to the seizure of remuneration for work in connection with pending enforcement proceedings,

f) a non-competition agreement after termination of employment, if the parties have concluded such an agreement,

g) referrals for medical examinations and medical certificates related to periodic medical examinations in connection with the performance of work in conditions of exposure to substances and carcinogens or fibrotic dusts (Article 229 § 5 point 2 of the Labor Code);

Part D - Order penalties

The new part of the employee files will be intended mainly for documents such as copies of notices of punishment, as well as other documents related to the employee's liability for order or liability specified in separate regulations, which provide for the erasure of the penalty after a specified period of time.

Each part of the employee file can be divided into smaller ones, naming them successively A1, A2 etc.

How to store employee personal files?

Employees' personal files will be able to be stored not only in paper form, but also in electronic form. Documents should be archived in their original form at the seat of the management board or a branch of the economic entity. Best arranged chronologically and numbered so that you can find them easily and quickly. Additionally, they should be protected against damage or total destruction.

Pursuant to Art. 125A par.4 of the Act of 17 December 1998 on pensions and disability pensions from the Social Insurance Fund, employee documentation, including those relating to periods of employment and remuneration for work, shall be kept for a period of 50 years from the end of the work for the payer by the insured. From 2019, this period may be shortened to 10 years if the documents are stored in electronic form. On their basis, ZUS determines the basis for calculating the old-age or disability pension. If the company has been liquidated, then a specialized archive may take over the storage obligations.