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Can you tell me what I should put in my employee's personnel file?

by , 23 November 2016
Can you tell me what I should put in my employee's personnel file?We often get questions about employee personnel files...

Questions like:
1) What should I keep?
2) How long do I have to keep them for?
3) And what will happen if I don't?

Today I wanted to answer some of these questions for you - so keep reading to find out...

One in three employment contracts put the employer at a disadvantage
The Basic Conditions of Employment Act and Schedule 8 of the Labour Relations Act make it imperative for an employer to give a written copy of the working conditions to the employee.

In practice, this means agreeing on written employment contracts.
Let us guide you through all HR and labour law matters – not just about employee personnel files!
Can you tell me what I should put in my employee's personnel file?
I saw a story a while ago about the SABC regarding personnel files. Can you tell me more about this?
The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) was in shambles. Not only did it not have a CEO, but some employees at the public broadcaster don't even have a personnel file. Don't make this big mistake in your company. Keep reading here where we cover the elements you need to have and for how long to make sure you have legally compliant personnel files.

Be warned! The Labour Relations Amendment Act changes the way you treat fixed-term and temporary employees!
If you use fixed–term contracts in your workplace, you need to make sure they're in line with the new Labour Relations Amendment Act which came into effect on 1 April 2015. 
If you don't know how to implement and manage fixed-term and temporary contracts you could land up with an unfair labour practice case on your hands!
Do you need different documents for different employees?
Please tell me what to put in a personnel file for a permanent worker and a contract worker.
The two are not that different in terms of requirements but the bare minimum required by the BCEA are:

(a) The employee's name and occupation;
(b) the time worked by each employee;
(c) the remuneration paid to each employee;
(d) the date of birth of any employee under 18 years of age; and
(e) any other prescribed information.
(2) A record in terms of subsection (1) must be kept by the employer for a period of
three years from the date of the last entry in the record.

I would obviously add in a couple of things like, banking details, contract of employment, emergency contact details, cv / application form, ID Copy, Driver`s license copy , Passport copy if applicable , Job description, warning forms, etc.
61 Records, documents, templates and checklists your company can't do without to make sure you're complying with the BCEA
Get access to 61 must-have sample templates, checklists and contracts so you can make sure you're complying with the requirements of the BCEA and the information you have to keep about an employee.

Find out more here...

What mustn't I have in an employee contract?
What kind of things should we NOT do when drafting employee contracts?

Three things to avoid:
• Flowery legalistic language, unless necessary to refer to specific legal terms – rather use plain and simple language;
• Lengthy and unmanageable clauses; and
• Duplication.

Do I need to have written contracts of employment?
I am a paving contractor and employ 20 full-time employees. I don't have written employment contracts with my employees. 

1. Should my contracts include a statement about the period of employment prior to the contract?
2. Are labour laws the same for all industries or are there different laws that apply to the building industry? 
1. You must include the start date that everyone was employed in their contract. This must be the actual dates they started and not the date on which they sign the contracts.

2. The Basic Conditions of Employment Act ordinarily applies. However, some industries have sectoral determinations or bargaining council collective agreements that apply. This means you may have to consider specific arrangements over and above what's in the BCEA. Examples of industries with specific arrangements are the building industry and the metal and engineering industry where there are established bargaining councils.
P.S.  57 ready-to-use contracts, policies and forms for every employee situation. The Industrial Relations Toolkit provides instant access to downloadable employment contracts, policies and forms. Get it now

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