We have numerous personnel files and payroll records from employees who have long since left the company. I am planning to shred all files from employees who left more than six years ago – is there anything I should be keeping or is six years a safe cut-off point? We have no outstanding personal injuries or other claims associated with any ex-staff.

Posted in : First Tuesday Q&A ROI on 8 April 2015
Zelda Cunningham
Arthur Cox
Issues covered:

It is best practice for an employer should retain the files of its employees for the duration of the contract of employment and for a further period of 7 years after the termination of the contract. While the Unfair Dismissals Acts 1977 to 2007 provide that a claim for unfair dismissal must be taken within 6 months of dismissal (or 12 months in exceptional circumstances), employers may be required to defend a claim for breach of the employment contract. A claim for breach of contract can be brought up to 6 years after the occurrence of a breach.

A period of 7 years (and not 6 years) is required for retention of the files as civil proceedings relating to breach of contract can be served on

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Back to Q&A's This article is correct at 02/09/2015

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Zelda Cunningham
Arthur Cox

The main content of this article was provided by Zelda Cunningham. Contact telephone number is +353 1 618 0000 or email zelda.cunningham@arthurcox.com

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