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Personel Files- Access


silver genius
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Hi,

 

just a quick question we have a brand new office space, and are busy sorting out all the files etc.

 

I want to lock some documentation away so the cleaner and general staff have limted access to them only me, deputy and administrater will have full access.

 

can you tell me if I can lock the staffs personnel files away or should they be able to freely access them, recently there was an incident of a member of staff going through her file and challenging me as to why i had documented a conversation about her conduct, and how long it stays on her file.. i did tell her i would be doing so.

 

thanks

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All staff's personal details files are locked in a cupboard daily, but are accessible to myself and our administrator. Staff members are also able to view their own at anytime, but they wouldn't dream of going to the file box to look at them without asking. All details should be confidential and content shared on a need to know basis only.

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I think everyone has a right to see any documentation about themselves..but only their own personal filers..

 

something to do with the freedom of information act..

 

we were able to get copies of our sons hospital files by using this .. we had to pay but they gave us a copy of all his files and treatment.. for us it wa because he was emigrating and he had been treated for cancer so we had to have copies for future use .. there was no objection , just proof of entitlement to get the information .. which for us include a letter from him giving us permission to access the files.. but if he had been in a position to do it would have been easier.. and it took a lot of jumping through hoops to get them - and cost to get the copies..

 

so they need to be locked away from others but freely available to the individual should they ask.. and if they want copies you are able to charge a fee for this..

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hi thanks for that, i will be locking them away i think, I have been having a few issues with this particular member of staff and on a day when i was away training, she went through the file! she would have access to all staff's files mine included along with the payscales, wages and all pay etc, so i really dont trust her now.

 

I have talked to her about confidentiality and she says that she thinks we should be very careful what i write down and think before i do so! she said she worked for a legal firm before and knows her rights!!! i really need to know where i stand she has a habit of discussing everything with the other staff, asking what they earn and why they get different to her? would you accept this, are wages etc normally discussed before working in childcare i worked for a large commercial firm and would not have dreamt of asking someone else what they earnt!

 

any thoughts would be great

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No it's not acceptable to discuss pay amongst themselves, although sometimes you know they do. This is generally when they have a cross to bear with management etc. I would hope and pray that whilst looking at her own file she didn't choose to view others too and if she isn't management what right did she have to do so. I would certainly lock them away from now on and explain that of course she can see her file at anytime but to have the courtesy to ask before hand.

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I keep the personnel files at home. If someone wants to see theirs then I'll take it into work. All the past childrn's paperwork is at home too, as there simply isn't the space at preschool for it all

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not normally acceptable to talk about wages and rates of pay etc.. although we know many do, it would be up to the person being asked to refuse to give the information.. maybe a chat to others explaining they have the right to refuse to say may help, they could feel they have to reply which is not the case..

 

and if she has worked for a legal firm, it would be unlikely she is in the know of all legislation and other things, why would she know ?

 

We always had all personal files locked away from all except manager.. if anyone wanted to see their own files that was ok, but never anyone else's, and never any other information not relevant to their own employment. We tended to let hem see the file once a year anyway at appraisal to check the information held was still correct and update anything needed at that time..

 

I would lock them away, and if asked give confidentiality and data protection as reasons.. you have to control the information and not release it to anyone without the persons permission.. (and maybe ask how would she like her details to be given to the rest of the staff as she had access to theirs before.. but will no longer..)

 

or something like that..!

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As stated, there is absolutely nothing to stop members of staff chatting about their rate of pay if they want to. But it is probably best to make sure they know they don't have to share this information with anyone if they don't want to, as Inge said.

 

Staff records are the same as childrens records in terms of freedom of access but also what is contained in them. And if she knows her rights she wil be aware that an employer can keep records of anything that is completely true, factual and relevant to the employment of that person

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I would also record this conversation and have it on record that she has been informed she may have access to HER info and hers only and that YOU will grant access to this and she may not just go and take/read files.

 

If you were working in an office or for a large company there is no way she would be able to have access as and when she wanted.There is no way an office manager would allow a member of staff to rifle through others personal files just to take her own out, esp if they weren't there.

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