Retention periods for University personnel records
Information for HR staff about how long to retain personnel records for University employees
11 December 2020 updates to reflect immigration changes from 1 December 2020 and new 'skilled worker' visa route
25 May 2018 update: please note that the retention periods listed below remain appropriate under GDPR and related UK data protection legislation. As part of University HR's GDPR improvement programme, we are currently reviewing the guidance provided below in light of operational viability. Please check back soon for updates.
In order to comply with data protection requirements, departments and divisions are asked to ensure that they retain records for the time periods indicated in the table below, but for no longer. NB where two separate periods are indicated.
|Type of record||Retention period||Notes|
|For Skill Worker, Tier 2 and Tier 5 visa holders:|
Documents relating to sponsorship application (ie qualification certificate, job description). Contract of employment, absence records (ie sickness, family leave and annual leave records) .
Additionally for Tier 2 visa holders: Recruitment records (ie applications, interview notes, recruitment decision summary grid etc), job adverts and allowance valuations
For further details go to the Staff Immigration Team website. See separate rules for the retention of right to work check documents (below).
|6 months after the employer has ceased sponsoring the migrant.||Home Office requirement, compliance is essential.|
|For all employees and casual staff:|
|Recruitment records (applications, references, shortlisting notes, interview notes, selection test paperwork, any other paperwork such as copies of qualifications, provided by candidates, etc)||Normally, 6 months following an appointment (unless the employee is a Tier 2 or Tier 5 sponsored migrant. See separate rules below).||Where the employee is a Tier 2 visa holder or where an employment tribunal is in progress it may be necessary to keep records for longer).|
|Copy of right to work check documents||2 years after employment ends.||Home Office requirement, compliance is essential.|
|Sickness records||3 years after the end of the tax year to which the record relates (if the employee is a Skilled Worker, Tier 2 or Tier 5 sponsored migrant see rules above).||Statutory retention period, compliance is essential.|
|Maternity/Adoption/Paternity leave records||3 years after the end of the tax year to which the leave period relates (if the employee is a Skilled Worker, Tier 2 or Tier 5 sponsored migrant see rules above).||Statutory retention period, compliance is essential.|
|Parental leave records||18 years from the birth/adoption of the child||If the employee is a Skilled Worker,Tier 2 or Tier 5 sponsored migrant see rules on absence records above.|
|Personnel files and training records (including redundancy details)||6 years after University employment ceases.||Including disciplinary and working time records [NB see guidance on handling disciplinary warnings in the introduction to Section 8 of the staff handbooks]|
|Wage/salary records||6 years plus current year (7 years total)||Main payroll records are held by the Payroll section. This is a statutory retention period.|
|For visitor visa holders: copy of immigration status check (ie copy of passport and visa/immigration stamp)||For duration of visit.||University policy and Home Office best practice. Compliance is essential.|
Recruitment record-keeping - additional guidance
All processing of records should be carried out in accordance with the GDPR and related UK data protection legislation and the University's Policy on Data Protection.
Information to be retained should include:
- shortlisting notes (including the reasons for selection or rejection in each case)
- interview notes for all members of the selection panel (including the reasons for selection or rejection in each case)
- selection test paperwork, and
- any other documentation provided by candidates (copies of qualifications, etc).
Additional record-keeping responsibilities apply where employees are Skilled Workers or Tier 5 visa holder. Find out more on the Staff Immigration Team website