The Evolution of the Human Resource Function for Employers

Historically Human Resource Management (HR) within a Company has been viewed as the department that looks after all aspects of an Employees career from hiring to termination and everything in between. For any Employer, it is an essential practice to maintain Human Resource records for all Employees to ensure compliance with employment legislation and to demonstrate that Employees are receiving all and proper entitlements. In this article, we will discuss the requirements of an Employer and the primary considerations in ensuring compliance.

HR records in general are used to keep Employees’ information, job history, and other critical employment-related data correct and up to date. These records are also necessary for managing employee performance, tracking employee development, and making informed decisions about promotions, terminations, and other HR issues.

As an Employer, it is your duty to keep these records in a format that allows for easy examination by an inspector from the Workplace Relations Commission. Failure to do so is an offense and can result in penalties.

WRC Inspections Service carry out inspections at Employers’ workplaces to check compliance with employment legislation in areas such as in national minimum wage, working time and rest breaks. They also have powers to investigate compliance with Employment permit obligations.

Where non-compliance is detected, an Inspector can issue on-the-spot fines called fixed payment notices for certain offences. An Inspector can also issue a compliance notice, directing an Employer to do something or to refrain from doing something for certain other contraventions. Any failure or refusal to rectify issues of non-compliance detected can result in criminal prosecution before a district court.

The requirement for accurate recording of data for Employees is as follows:

  • Employers’ Record on Employees
  • Employee’s name, address, PPSN, and Employment duties.
  • Copy of contract of Employment and terms of employment for each Employee.
  • Remuneration details and evidence that a payslip is issued.
  • Employee’s job classifications. • Total number of days and hours worked per week and permitted daily breaks.
  • Number of days and hours of leave, including annual leave and public holidays, and payment received.
  • Any additional pay received for public holidays.
  • Registration of any Employees under 18 years of age
  • Details of any provision for board and lodging provided.
  • Documents relating to any employment rights legislation.

Retention of Employees Records

Human resource records must also be kept in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Data Protection Acts of 1988 and 2018, which states that personal data can only be retained in a format that permits identification of the individual for no longer than is necessary and for the purposes for which it was processed.

This means that Organisations need to decide how long to retain personal data for and consider the following:

  • statutory retention periods
  • limitation periods for claims
  • individual business needs
  • the data quality principles (set out below)

In relation to all data, the data protection principles set out in the General Data Protection Regulation, 2018 data must be:

  • Obtained and processed lawfully, fairly and in a transparent manner.
  • Collected for specified, explicit and legitimate purposes and not be further processed in a manner that is incompatible with those purposes.
  • Adequate, relevant and limited to what is necessary in relation to the purposes for which data are processed.
  • Accurate and up to date.
  • Limited retention in a format that permits identification of data subjects for no longer than is necessary for the purposes for which the personal data are processed.
  • Secure and confidential processing of data, including protection against unauthorised or unlawful processing and against accidental loss, destruction or damage.
  • The Organisation is committed to be accountable, liable and comply with the Data Protection Principles.

In many cases, retention of records is a legal requirement under statute and in other cases it may assist an Organisation in defence of any legal claims lodged by an Employee where for example a claim of unfair dismissal is made. Regardless of the purpose, Organisations need to ensure compliance and the first step in determining your level of compliance is to audit your HR records. A significant amount of information is created and gathered during the employment relationship which means that the obligations on an Employer in the maintenance of proper records is excessive. Addressing any shortfalls now will mitigate the risks associated with non-compliance thus safeguarding your Organisation.

If your Organisation needs advice, support, or guidance in relation to compliance requirements or any HR issues, please check out our website or contact Adare Human Resource Management call (01) 561 3594 or email