Hi, I want to know how long a private company needs to retain employee records as per Indian Labour Laws. Is there a specific mention of this in any act? Thanks, Priyanka
From India, Pune
There is no such direction for private companies. But as far as possible, keep records of employees like, wages register, muster rolls, registers as per ESI and EPF etc of at least five years for any verification by the concerned authorities. And if possible, do not scrap any register or returns relating to employees. Regards, Madhu.T.K
From India, Kannur
Dear Priyanka, Under Minimum Wages Act,1948 an inspector can demand registers & records for a period of last three years while this period is twelve months in case of Payment of wages Act,1936.You may see other Acts accordingly which are applicable to your Unit. Regards R.N.Khola Sr Associate
From India, Delhi
Personnel Records Retention

The following retention periods are recommended for specific personnel documents:

Applications/Resumes (employed) 6 years after last action

Applications/Resumes (not hired) 6 years after selection process completion

Status/Change of Status Forms 6 years after updated

Job Descriptions 6 years after updated

Employee Performance Appraisals/Evaluations 6 years after termination

Retirement Correspondence 6 years after last action

Insurance Enrollment Notices 6 years after last action

Position Information Questionnaires & Reclassification Requests 6 years after updated

Leave Reports 6 years

Request for Leave Records 6 years

Time Cards 6 years

Payroll Records 5 years

Job Announcements 6 years after selection process completion

Medical Records Related to or Required by Employer 6 years after last action

I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification 3 years after hire or 1 year after termination, whichever is later

Lawsuits or Actions for Recovery of Overtime, Damages, Fees, or Penalties 2 years after the accrual of such claim for relief


If there is any legal action regarding an employee or former employee initiated by anyone, all records regarding the employee or former employee should be retained until the completion of the legal action or the end of the retention period, whichever is later.

Use of personnel records may extend the retention period for those records. To allow for the possibility of a defamation case regarding any personnel files, the retention periods for those records should be changed to six years after last action. This retention period would prevent the agency from disposing of the records until six years after the last action; i.e. reference for an ex-employee; ex-employee requesting information from his/her file; termination of employment.

Always check with legal counsel before destroying documents regarding employees who have been involved in legal action.

From India, Mumbai
Reg: How long the old employee files/records to be kept.
Is there any clear law regarding how long a company should keep the employee records like resume, offer and apportionment letter etc other than salary , PF, ESI other statutory files. Since there are many versions available. Is there any clarity on this.
Comments appreciated

From India, Chennai
Here you go!
Employment records include, but are not limited to job announcements and advertisements; employment applications, background investigations, resumes, and letters of recommendation of persons not hired; etc. Unless otherwise specified in the DRS, such records should be retained for a minimum of one (1) year. Employee records include but are not limited to employment applications, background investigations, resumes, and letters of recommendation of current and past employees, records relating to current and past employee's performance reviews and complaints, etc. Unless otherwise specified in the DRS, such records should be retained for a minimum of three (3) years following unemployment with Organization. Payroll records include, but are not limited to wage rate tables; salary history; current rate of pay; payroll deductions; time cards; W-2 and W-4 forms; bonuses; etc.

From India, Chennai

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