How should the personal files of employees be kept?

How should the personal files of employees be kept?

In today’s era, although digital filing system is used, it is not yet totally practical in Myanmar.  Instead, manual filing system is used widely.  Hence, I would like to share the proper method of manual filing system.

According to the needs of your business firm, additional facts can be included in the basic requirements.  Documents as listed below are to be kept chronologically [date wise] in the Personal Files:

In Group 1

  • the original curriculum vitae [CV] of employee [obtained when applied for the job]

  • a copy of the National Registration Card

  • a copy of the Household Members’ List

  • the original recommendation letter issued by the Warden of your ward

  • the original recommendation letter issued by the Township Police Office

  • a copy of the labour card

  • a copy of the driving license (if available)

  • copies of Certificates for relevant education qualifications

  • copies of any other recommendation letters (if available)

In Group 2

  • Record of written exam results (if available)

  • Record of personal interview results

  • Referees’ recommendation letters (if any)

  • Job offer letter

  • Appointment Letter or Employment Contract (as used at your business firm or company)

In Group 3

  • A copy of the Social Security Card

  • Annual Appraisal Record

  • Letter(s) issued for any personal action(s) taken during the tenure of the post

  • A copy each of the letters (issued to the employee) related to - change of department, promotion, warning, etc. should always be kept in file

In Group 4

This could be a separate folder in some business firms as documents can be arranged accordingly to your requirements.  

Claim Records related to injuries at the workplace.

How to file & use the documents and to maintain the files:

Where there are many employees, I recommend using the files and cupboards as illustrated in this post as it would be easier to search & find the file.

In some business firms where there are many employees, box files with partitions are used as many folders can be kept together.

The suspension files (see the illustrations): a file with small hooks at both ends.  These files can be bought at large stationary shops (not at super markets).  Since these files are made of paper, they may not last long; therefore, in the center of the file, attach with a scotch tape so as to last longer.

CV or Resume files can be maintained in these box files labelled with the name tags.

Since files can be purchased in colours, different colours can be used for different departments.

Suspension files can be used in the filing cabinets (as illustrated) and for ease of reference, names of staff can be put in alphabetical order; for example – a, b, c, d, etc. 

Filing cabinets with 3-4 drawers would be the best for maintain the files.  For instance, files that belong to the Head of Office will be in the 1st drawer, files that belong to the Branch Office will be in the 2nd drawer, files that belong to the subsidiary office will be in the 3rd drawer and files that belong to the department will be in the 4th drawer.  By placing the files accordingly, it will be much easier to search the files as and when necessary.

Confidentiality of personal records

The responsible staff should keep the confidential documents locked up in the cabinets and he/she should be the only person who has access to them. In fact, the personal documents being confidential, access to these files should be restricted.

Files of resigned or dismissed employees

When an employee resigns, his/her personal file should be removed from the drawer where files of active staff members are kept; his/her file will then be placed in the drawer where files of dismissed staff are kept.  For this purpose, it is therefore suggested to have two separate drawers. In other words, one drawer for resigned employees and another for dismissed employees.  

Depending on the policy of the business firm, personal documents of ex-employees can be maintained for a certain number of years.

Responsible duty for filing personal documents

Each and every staff member is responsible to keep his/her personal documents systematically in the relevant files.  For instance, if he/she receives a warning letter or a promotion letter, these letters should be filed instantly in his/her personal file.  If a Manager or a Supervisor happens to verify the file of a staff member and finds that such information (warning or promotion letters) is missing, this can affect the staff member.  

Therefore, any personal documents of a staff member or an employee should always be filed instantly as they are important for the respective Manager or the Supervisor in preparing the Appraisal Reports for the staff member or the employee.