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One of the key challenges for any HR department is the compliant management of personnel files. Personnel files can be very comprehensive, bulky documents containing all sorts of information from PAYE, contracts of employment and job descriptions to references, pay reviews, training, appraisals, disciplinary action, pension information, holiday, sickness absence, maternity/paternity and health records. The list goes on!

Records retention legislation varies depending on the type of information being held and non-statutory retention rules also need to be complied with, which could mean retaining records in a specified format for six years. Company mergers, acquisitions and relocations are other challenges for HR, especially when TUPE in and Out is required.

Complying with the Data Protection Act is essential, as well as other legislation surrounding retention of staff records and information. The Data Protection Act requires that ‘personal data in a record shall not be kept for any longer than is necessary for a particular purpose or purposes,” for which the Information Commissioner has issued guidance in The Employment Practices Code. Among the many recommendations is, “if possible, set up a computerised system which flags information retained for more than a certain time as due for review or deletion.”

That is why developing a robust system for HR records management is imperative for all Personnel Departments. The trouble is, like many other company departments, there is very often a mix of paper and electronic records, both of which need controlling. Storing large volumes of paper archives takes up space; space that very often can be used more productively. That is why so many companies are turning to document storage suppliers, like Box-it North West for secure archiving solutions. While we use the term ‘document storage’, very often clients want a service provider which offers complete solutions for records management – archiving, search and retrieval, scanning and digital platforms/software for managing their electronic records.

Box-it works with many clients throughout the North West, offering proven solutions for Human Resources records management.

Hybrid document management – a viable solution for many HR Departments

Some choose to digitize all personnel records, while others implement hybrid document management; the latter being effective by digitizing current records and placing hard copy ‘leaver’ files into storage.

Should a leaver file be required, the original paper file can either be returned via a Box-it North West delivery vehicle, or by scan on demand – Box-it North West can, with the client’s permission, retrieve a file, scan it, and make it available online via a secure link on a web browser. All employees at Box-it North West are CRB/DBS screened.

Management of physical HR files is made easy with Omnidox Records Manager, Box-it’s online secure portal for paper records management, which enables review dates to be set up for retention purposes; a major asset in supporting compliance. The system records movement in and out of storage, and also details any changes that are made to the archive inventory. Box or file collections and deliveries are ordered online, along with any consumables.

At the end of a document’s lifecycle, Box-it North West can also securely destroy records via onsite and offsite confidential shredding services operating in Greater Manchester, Cheshire, Merseyside, Lancashire and North Wales.

Omnidox HR for digital records management of Personnel Files

For those who choose to digitize all their personnel records, Box-it North West provides a specially developed solution called Omnidox HR, an award winning Cloud based product for secure electronic document management. This is widely used by HR departments in larger companies, or by those businesses with multiple branches or offices. In basic terms, it replicates a paper file in digital form, enabling the classification of records into separate sections of the ‘file’. In its digital format, records can be shared with the appropriate personnel; retention and disposition schedules can be set and can be accessed online from any location via a secure web browser. Electronic conversion of personnel records also frees up office space (think of how much room those filing cabinets take up) but makes the whole process of HR records management much more efficient. If desired, it can also be set up to host e-forms and automated with other electronic processes.

For further information about HR Records Management solutions from Box-it North West, please call 01928 740119 or email