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  1. 1. F E B R U A R Y 2 4 , 2 0 1 5 8 : 4 5 A M - 1 0 : 1 5 A M 2 0 1 5 K A I N A I W A C H I L D R E N ’ S S E R V I C E S C O R P O R A T I O N C O N F E R E N C E L I S A P E C K H A M Best Practices for Archiving Files
  2. 2. Disclaimer 2 Information presented to you today is considered to be general best practices for organizations across Canada. The information is not intended to provide legal counsel or legal advice.
  3. 3. Expectations Have Changed! www. processexcellencenetwork.com 3
  4. 4. Learning Objectives  Record management overview  File management  What you need to keep  How you need to keep it  How long you need to keep it  Where to keep files  Employee files  Financial files  Destroying Files 4
  5. 5. Records Management  Understanding records management  Internal records management  Physical and electronic filing  External records management www.ufv.ca 5
  6. 6. Why Documentation Procedures Matter  Required to inform and justify a wide range of decisions  It is the law  Can help to create and implement new policies and procedures  Creates a historical document 6
  7. 7. Understanding Records Management  Records management involves identifying, classifying, prioritizing, storing, securing, archiving, preserving, retrieving, tracking, and destroying records  Records are created or received by an organization in compliance with legal obligations or in the transaction of business  Can be tangible documents like a driver’s license or correspondence or digital information such as data, website content, and electronic mail Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Records_management 7
  8. 8. Documentation and Legal Exposure  Dated  Signed where applicable  Accessible  Legible  Factual  Clearly indicate where supporting and referenced documentation can be found  Duplicated and secured 8
  9. 9. Internal Records Management  Requires a dedicated staff member or department, depending on the size of the organization  Standardized across the organization with one point of contact who can easily obtain requested records  Abide by clear and well documented records management policies  Can be a combination of physical and digital records management  Be able to meet all applicable audit standards  Should be audited on a regular basis  Practices, systems, technologies, and facilities 9
  10. 10. Not the Way To Do It! 10
  11. 11. Decision Making  Documented policies, procedures, and information are required in order to make decisions that impact the overall functioning of the organization  Hiring  Budgets and allocation of resources  Salary increases and additional incentives  Terminations  Development of new policies and procedures  Performance evaluation and management 11
  12. 12. Do DO NOT  Do write and distribute minutes as soon as possible after the meeting  Do be neutral  Do record topics discussed, decisions made, and outstanding action items  Do summarize accurately and succinctly  Don’t record information that is hearsay or gossip  Don’t record exhaustive details of the meeting  Don’t include information that might embarrass someone 12 Do’s and Don’ts for Meeting Minutes
  13. 13. How NOT to Take Meeting Minutes! 13
  14. 14. Historical Documents  Order and efficiency  Daily operations  Promotion and public relations  Strategic planning  Litigation 14 Source: http://www.uic.edu/depts/lib/specialcoll/pdf/DTIA.pdf
  15. 15. File Management 15 File management is a series of tools, procedures, and policies designed to organize and file documents so information can be easily located and retrieved when required.
  16. 16. Types of File Management 16  Effective physical file management includes  Analyzing and classifying records  Determining retention schedules  Appropriate arrangement  Centralized filing  Decentralized filing  Electronic file management  Analyzing and classifying records  Determining retention schedules  Naming files
  17. 17. Analyzing Physical and Electronic Files 17  Who creates the file?  Who accesses or uses the file and how often?  What is the size of the file?  How long is the file current?  Is the file confidential?  What are the legal requirements for retaining the file?
  18. 18. Classifying Physical and Electronic Files 18  Primary classification describes the broadest and fundamental purpose of the file  Administrative  Organizational  Program  Case  Secondary classification  Committee files  Personnel  Payroll  Purchase  Planning  Finance
  19. 19. Filing Physical Files 19  Arrangement  Alphabetic  Chronological  Numerical  Serial  Centralized filing  Files are maintained in one central location and are accessible to multiple employees  Decentralized filing  Files are located dependent on proximity to the primary users
  20. 20. Naming Electronic Files 20  Appropriately and consistently named files ensures electronic files are stored accurately within classifications and retention schedules  Having an organization wide electronic file naming policy can help to improve the efficiency of the filing system  Electronic file names should fit logically with corresponding physical files
  21. 21. 5 Tips for Effective Filing Systems 21 1. Filing systems should support organizational needs 2. Filing systems should guarantee reliable document capture 3. Filing systems should provide secure access for sensitive and confidential documents 4. Filing systems should optimize workflow 5. Filing systems should help to efficiently manage document life cycles
  22. 22. Advantages of Centralized Filing 22  Thoughts?
  23. 23. Advantages to Centralized Filing 23  There is greater control over the files  Uniformity and consistency is easier to maintain  All important information is located in a central location  All information regarding a specific subject is located in a central location  The need for duplicate files is eliminated  Storage of records requires less equipment and space
  24. 24. Advantages to Decentralized Filing 24  There is less chance of folders being misfiled into the wrong secondary classification series  Limited access to a record series leads to greater security and confidentiality  The record series is physically located closer to the user
  25. 25. Disadvantages to Centralized Filing 25  What can you come up with?
  26. 26. Disadvantages 26  Multiple copies of confidential information  Costs of having several secure locations  Too easy for someone to access information
  27. 27. External Records Management  Reduces costs associated with staffing, software, and storage  Provides up to date expert knowledge on compliance regulations  Can improve organizational efficiency  Can provide offsite data backup and recovery  Document management  Scanning, retrieving, organizing  Highly secure 27
  28. 28. Retention Schedules 28  All physical and electronic files should have a clearly documented and displayed retention schedule  Depending on the type of file, the retention schedule may be determined by  The organization  External stakeholders  Example: WCB, Insurance company  Legal requirements  Example: FOIP, Revenue Canada
  29. 29. Third Party Access  External human resources functions provider  During the legal acquisition of a business  Workers’ Compensation Boards  Benefits providers  Labour relations and union representatives  Lawyers  Provincial and national government bodies  Revenue Canada 29
  30. 30. Employee Files 30
  31. 31. Documentation and Legal Exposure Payroll and benefits information Performance management Health and Safety Harassment complaints Accommodation Certifications 31
  32. 32. Discussion – Keeping files 32  What do you keep now?  Where do you keep it?  How long do you keep it?  How do you get rid of it?
  33. 33. What to Keep  Employee information including name, address, SIN, start date, hours worked, written agreements regarding overtime, vacation time records, payroll information, and leave information  Documentation related to health and safety incidents  Information regarding efforts to meet a duty to accommodate  Performance management documentation 33
  34. 34. Employee Files  Application  Resume and cover letter  Interview notes  Testing results  Reference check notes  Signed offer letter  Job description  Emergency contacts  Social Insurance number  Signed TD1 form  Orientation checklist  Relocation agreements and supporting documentation  Benefit enrolment forms  Garnishee or court orders  Signed confirmation of receiving and reviewing employee handbook 34
  35. 35. Employee Files Updated information  Written evaluations  Raises, promotions, and commendations  Warnings and disciplinary action  Employment status up to date  Most recent version of employee handbook reviewed  Change in name or address  Most current employment contract 35 Adapted from: http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/what-keep-employee-personnel-files-30240.html
  36. 36. Employee Files Do not include information that is not directly related to the employee’s qualifications and performance. This includes:  Medical records  Unsubstantiated criticism, rumors, or accusations  Reference to race, sex, religion  Reference to the employee’s private life 36 Adapted from: http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/what-keep-employee-personnel- files-30240.html
  37. 37. Employee Files PIPEDA has established 10 privacy principles for the collection, use, disclosure, and retention of personal information. These are good standards to follow anywhere in Canada. • Accountability • Identifying purpose • Consent • Limiting collection • Limiting use, disclosure, retention • Accuracy • Safeguards • Openness • Individual access • Challenging compliance 37
  38. 38. Documenting Employee Performance  Timely documentation of incidents, deficiencies, and significant accomplishments  Build an employee performance file on EVERY employee and document positive performance and performance concerns  Confirm the facts  Relevant supporting documentation  Written correspondence 38
  39. 39. Access and Protection of Employee Documentation  Employee access  Employer access  Third party access  Securing records 39
  40. 40. Employee Access  Current and former employees have the right to access their own employment records  Records management policies should outline the process for accessing employee records  Records management process should outline criteria that must be met to preserve the integrity of the file  Cannot be removed from the area files are kept  Employee can not remove or add anything to the file  Employee must be accompanied by a Human Resources professional when viewing the file 40
  41. 41. Employer Access  Records management policies should outline the process for allowing organization employees to access employee records  How and why Human Resources professionals can access employee records  Other employees in the organization that can access employee records  This is permitted if accessing employee records is necessary for the performance of the employee’s job 41
  42. 42. Securing Records  Privacy  The right to privacy is met when an individual has the opportunity to exercise some degree of control over personal information by consenting to, or withholding consent, for the collection, use, and/or disclosure of information  Confidentiality  Every organization has an obligation to protect information from unauthorized access, use, disclosure, modification, loss or theft.  Security  Organizations must employ physical, administrative, and technical safeguards to ensure employee records remain secure 42
  43. 43. How long do we keep them? 43  The entire employee file should be kept while the employee is active, longest employee on record?  Inactive employee files should be kept secured but conveniently located for a minimum of two years  Inactive employee files should be kept for six to ten years and must be kept in a secure location
  44. 44. Financial Files 44
  45. 45. What are Records 45  Records are accounting and other financial documents that should be kept in an organized way  Records were traditionally kept in paper format, but many now keep electronic records  Records include ledgers, journals, vouchers, financial statements and accounts, and income tax and excise tax records. You must keep the supporting documents
  46. 46. Benefits of keeping files organized 46  Identify the sources of income  Remind you of expenses you can deduct and tax credits you can claim  Make it easier for you to determine your taxes owing;  Provide you with information on the past and present financial position  Help you make good business decisions  Assist with getting loans and funding  Can prevent problems if you get audited
  47. 47. Consequences of not keeping good records 47  Government may disallow expenses that you are unable to support  Government may impose penalties if you:  Do not keep adequate records  Do not provide CRA officials with access to your records, when requested  Do not give information to CRA officials, when asked.
  48. 48. What to keep 48  Sales invoices  Purchase receipts  Contracts  Guarantees  Bank statements including deposit slips and cancelled cheques  Purchase orders  Work orders  Delivery slips  General correspondence in support of any transaction  Cash register slips, credit card receipts
  49. 49. How to keep records 49  Books, records, and supporting documents produced and kept in paper format  Books, records, and supporting documents produced on paper, and then converted and stored in an electronic format  Electronic records and supporting documents produced electronically
  50. 50. Additional records for corporations 50  Records of Internet business activities  Meeting minutes of the directors of a corporation  Meeting minutes of the shareholders of a corporation  Any record of a corporation containing details about:  the ownership of the shares of the capital stock of the corporation  any transfers of these shares  General ledger or other books of final entry, in paper or electronic format, containing the summaries of the year-to- year transactions of the corporation  Any special contracts or agreements necessary to understand the entries in the general ledger or other books
  51. 51. Where to keep files 51  Financial files should be kept within the finance department  Must be kept secured  Can be moved offsite once they have not been accessed for at least two years  If moved offsite they still need to be secured
  52. 52. Keeping Files 52  Most records are kept for six years from the date of tax filing  Active records should be kept on site and convenient in a secure location  Old records can be kept off site in a storage facility as long they are secured and when accessing the records it is done by two people who have access
  53. 53. Tax Files 53  Tax files, as stated by CRA, only have to be kept for six years from year end filing  Most organizations keep tax files, including payroll, income tax and GST records indefinitely  Supporting documents do not have to be kept for more than six years  Again, many corporations keep files for six to ten years depending on policy
  54. 54. Exceptions 54 Records and supporting documents concerning long-term acquisitions and disposal of property, share registry and other historical information that would have an impact on the sale, liquidation or wind-up of a business must be kept indefinitely.
  55. 55. More information 55 For more detailed information please go to www.cra-arc.gc.ca/
  56. 56. Disposal of Records 56  How do you currently dispose of records?  How old is the oldest record you have seen?  Inactive  Active
  57. 57. Disposal of Records 57  Electronic records on your pc, can be deleted and then wiped by IT department  Electronic records on USB or other storage device can be deleted and/or destroyed  Hard copy files should be shredded and disposed of  Internally  3rd party
  58. 58. Questions? 58
  59. 59. About Us Our services  Employer benefit plans  Travel insurance  Health spending accounts  Salary grids  Policy review and writing  Pension plans  Employee wellness  Employer of choice  Charitable giving  Charitable tax information  Employee mental health 59
  60. 60. Contact Us #517-7620 Elbow Drive SW Calgary, AB T2V 1K2 403-264-5288 www.hylton.ca 800-449-5866 info@hylton.ca facebook.com/pages/CG-Hylton/173971246061425 twitter.com/HyltonYYC LinkedIn 60
  61. 61. THANK YOU! Thank you for the opportunity to present to you today! 61

Notes de l'éditeur

  • To ensure that employer documentation can be useful in a court of law, organizations must ensure that all relevant documentation meets the above minimum considerations.
  • Source: http://www.patrina.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/data-compliance-carl-cartoon.jpg
  • Some records are permanently useful, either to the organization itself or to other interested parties. When properly retained, organized, and preserved, these records become an organization’s archives. They reflect the values, activities, and goals of the organization. This body of records tells the story of the organization’s past and becomes the basis for understanding its history.

    Order and efficiency – Having a system in place guarantees that records are filed in a logical, orderly fashion to facilitate retrieval.

    Daily operations – Daily operations frequently require the use of noncurrent records. For example, a report outlining the organization's achievements is significantly easier to produce when documentation is properly maintained.

    Advertising, promotion, and public relations – Organizational archives are useful in advertising, promotion, and public relations. Being able to discuss, document, and illustrate past activities lends an organization credibility in its current efforts. Successful programs developed and implemented five, ten, or twenty years ago demonstrate the organization's credibility, strength, and longevity.

    Strategic planning – Likewise, the existence of documentation gives a real boost to strategic planning. Current employees can look back at their group's history to learn which efforts were successful or unsuccessful in the past, and why. Knowledge and understanding of previous errors, as well as previous successes, can determine future strategy. Documentation reveals which activities were advantageous to the organization and its intended beneficiaries. Current areas of interest are compared with past efforts and evaluated in terms of their potential for the future.

    Litigation – Documentation is useful for legal purposes. In legal proceedings, the documentation generally contains accurate, unbiased, and readily available information for a legal strategy that is beneficial to the organization.

    Source: http://www.uic.edu/depts/lib/specialcoll/pdf/DTIA.pdf
  • In order to create an effective and efficient filing system, the above questions should be addressed. The organization should understand what records are created, why they are created, and how they are used. The goal for any filing system is that it works seamlessly within the functional and operational requirements of the office.
  • These are common primary classifications.
    Administrative files: document the internal administration and operation of an office
    Organizational files: document the relationship of an office with other offices and departments within the organization as well as with external organization and partners
    Program files: document basic activities and program specific information
    Case files: document a specific event, project, person, transaction

    Within the primary classifications, files should be sorted into their secondary classifications. Secondary classifications are a group of records that are created, used, and filed as a unit because they relate to a particular subject or function, result from the same activity, or have a particular physical form. This slide lists common secondary classifications.
    Primary and secondary classifications should be used as tools to facilitate the organization and filing of records. Classifications can be whatever is meaningful to that particular organization.

  • Records management is one area where many organizations find it is more efficient and effective to contract to an external provider.

    Some organizations do a combination of both internal and external records management.
  • There may be instances where a third party can legally access some part of an employee’s records.

    It is critical that the organization’s records management plan details the circumstances in which a third party can access certain aspects of an employee’s records. This access must be in compliance with applicable privacy and release of information guidelines.
  • These are types of documentation that an organization may be requested to provide to a court of law.
  • The laws in Canada require that all employers document certain pieces of information. Records must be maintained for a certain period of time (this can vary across different industries and is based on the type of information collected) and must be readily available for inspection.

    Having this information documented can help to prevent issues such as misunderstandings, hearsay, or an inability to terminate an employment contract due to lack of proof that the contract has been frustrated.
  • A new employee file should include all the information listed above. The organization must ensure that this information remains confidential and secure.

    It is helpful to include a checklist of the required information at the beginning of each employee file. This can provide “at a glance” confirmation of the documents that are included in the file and documents that remain outstanding.

    For organizations in the Yukon, Nunavut and the Northwest Territories the collection of employee information is subject to PIPEDA because all private sector activity is under federal jurisdiction in the territories. PIPEDA applies to personal information that is collected, used or disclosed in the course of commercial activity. PIPEDA also states "personal information does not include the name, title, or business address or telephone number of an employee of an organization.“ Source: http://hrcouncil.ca/hr-toolkit/employee-records.cfm
  • Employee files should be reviewed on a regular basis to ensure the documents are accurate, up to date, and complete. This can be done annually at the same time as the employee’s performance review. Document any changes, additions, and removals made to the file.
  • Take time on a regular basis to document performance raves or concerns on each employee. Failure to document the good and the bad can have legal implications and organizations can be accused of “being out to get a particular employee”.
    Report the facts including the date, employees involved, the details of the incident, and observations. Avoid including ambiguous details and qualitative judgments.
    Document facts based on employee reports, manager reports, eyewitness reports, photos, reports, emails, and any other documentation that reports facts surrounding an event.
    Draft written correspondence about the event that includes the above mentioned facts, supporting documentation, and a summary of all conversations with the employee regarding this event.
    In the written correspondence, refer objectively to related performance benchmarks.
    Have the employee review the correspondence and sign the document confirming they have read, understood, and agree with the statement of facts.