Madhu.T.K
Industrial Relations And Labour Laws
Puneet.sarin
Manager-legal & Finance
Jeeni
Assistant Human Resource Manager

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I would like your guidance on the new initiative which we are proposing to inititae in our company.We are proposing to maintain the soft copy of the documents like resume and address and all other details can be updated in the oracle software. I am little bit confused. Just want to seek clarity that is there ant legal compulsion to maintain the employee file of an employee in the hard copy format or not<? If yes! than what are the things to be taken care.
We have proposed to keep the box files for the copy of stat forms like PF, ESIC year wise for all employees.

From India, New Delhi
HELLO,
see the file keeping according to me is very important..
today you have system working in place but what if something hapens to system...so for that you need to keep a file which would contain following things:-
PF
ESIC
DECLARATION FORM
EMPLOYEE JOINING REPORT
EMPLOYEE PHOTOGRAPHS
CODE OF CONDUCT
ADDRESS PROOF
PHOTO ID PROOF
EDUCATIONAL DOCS
RESUME
PREVIOUS COMPANY'S APPOINTMENT LETTER IF ANY
APPOINTMENT LETTER BY YOUR COMPANY
CONFIRMATION LETTER
INCREMENTAL LETTER
AND FINALLY THIS ALL SHOULD BE VERIFIED BY HR....WITH THERE SIGNATURE...
TOMORROW IF ANY WRONG HAPPENS YOU HAVE ALL THE PROOFS IN HAND ABOUT THAT PARTICULAR EMPLOYEE ...THIS FILE IS CONFIDENTIAL AND OTHER EMPLOYEES ARE NOT ALLOWED TO SEE IT
REGARDS,
VARSHA RAMNANI

From India, Mumbai
And it should also contain warning letter or any misbehavior,late coming warning, etc..
From India, Mumbai
Dear Varsha,
Thanks for your revert.
Its just an idea to maintain all these documents in the soft copy format or else in big box file for all employees rather than maintaing personal files. For Example :- One file for PF forms, ESIC forms, one for letters etc.
Please advise is there any legal complications or mandatory as per law to keep personal record.
Regards
Ranjeet

From India, New Delhi
All registration certificates have to be mandatorily required to be kept in original physical form. Rest all can be kept in soft form. Legislature has now even accepted soft copy maintenance and is accordingly changing the age old laws. Plus, a few acts only have mandatory requirement of safe keeping of hard copy.
Apart from this, various registers that are required to be maintained under various labor laws have to be in physical form as Inspector inspecting the document won't be understanding the soft copy and will insist on maintenance of hard copy.
In all, Statutory registration documents + Compliance registers = Physical form
Rest can be had in soft copy

From India, Gurgaon
that will me hectic for you...and having 3-4 different files for one employee is useless..you can have partitions in one big box file itslef..i think that is better idea..and more every docx u have u should have a hard copy as well as soft copy...to be on safer side...
and ranjeet am not much aware of lawsuit but as per my knowledge u do have audits by various government and local bodies...(depends on your company to if they do so)
suppose for instance if you have to fire a problem employee, careful documentation will protect you from legal danger.
and in the worst-case scenario, a personnel file may turn into evidence in a lawsuit brought by a disgruntled former employee. Make sure that you include all periodic evaluations, raises, commendations, and disciplinary actions in your personnel files so you always have easy access to the information you need -- and to protect your company in case of a lawsuit.

From India, Mumbai
Dear varsha/ Puneet,
Thanks and appreciate your responses.
Particularly i am looking for legal part to avoid any future complication in it.
I would have appreciate if senior members like Mr. Madhu TK would have add views on it.
Please help me over this, please suggest me pros and cons of this issue.
Regards
Ranjeet

From India, New Delhi
I think I need not give any more input in this subject because many have suggested not to drop the hard formats. I have observed that in hard formats, there are lots of advantages particularly in the eyes of law. The first document which proves legal relationship between employer and employee is the appointment order. It becomes a binding contract only when it is signed by both the parties. If that employee has been given a warning or a series of warning letters for his acts of misbehavior or misconducts, which in turn are going to be taken as evidence before an Enquiry Officer, we should have it in hard form with signature of the delinquent employee on it. Similarly, we need nominations from the employee under his signature only. Therefore, we cannot dispense with paper documents in any office set up.
From India, Kannur
Dear Madhu Sir,

Thank you so much for your response.

I think either i am not able to express this issue properly.

We are trying to drop the idea of keeping hundreds of personal file of employees.

We will keep the all documents along with us with use of latest technology. For ex:- We have an option to keep scan copy of resume or appintment letter duly signed by both the parties in the oracle software which can be remain with us for n number years.

We have already automated the P&I letters by sending letters on email.



What we are proposing to keep only warning letters, certifcates issued by us, PF, ESIC forms in different box files which will be kept in one place.

However cases files related domestic enquiries will be kept sepately in the hard copy.

I just want to ask is there any provision in the law to keep details of an employee in personal file format only while we keep all the details of an employee ready with us.

The idea behind this inititative is only to keep information available with us on the click of single button.

please advise.

Regards

Ranjeet

From India, New Delhi
There is no problem if you are confident that soft form of hard copies will do the purpose. There is no law which makes it mandatory to have all files in hard form. Even an employment contract need not necessarily be in writing!! It can be verbal also. But as far as possible, keep the scanned copies of appointment orders, increment letters, demotion letters, warning or show cause memos etc safe.
Madhu.T.K

From India, Kannur
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