Comments are closed. New code of practice for employment recordsOn 1 Nov 2002 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos. Previous Article Next Article How companies record the sickness absence details of their staff is set fora wholesale overhaulA new Government code of practice on employment records, drawn up by theInformation Commission, will mean employers will have to introduce a singlesickness database and get the individual consent of each member of staff torecord and keep their sickness data. HR departments and line managers will have to be trained in data handlingprocedures to ensure consistency and that all records are dealt withappropriately. Employees will need to be provided annually with a copy of the personaldetails about them that are being kept on file. However, employers will be able to keep absence records, something that wasprohibited in the original draft of the code. The code has been drawn up to clarify organisations’ responsibilities aboutthe handling of personal data in the wake of the 1998 Data Protection Act,which came into force in October last year. It also stresses that sickness and accident records should be kept separatelyfrom absence records and that information should only be disclosed where thereis a legal obligation to do so. Records should not be made available to other workers “other than toprovide managers with information about those who work for them insofar as thisis necessary for them to carry out their managerial roles”, it said. Kate Bleuel, head of health and risk at management consultancy TowersPerrin, said the code would force employers to update sickness absence recordkeeping. Often line managers, HR, payroll and the OH department had all kept a copyof an employee’s records and that would now have to go, with computerisedsystems probably the most obvious replacement. “They are codes of practice, not legal acts, but if an organisation wasbrought before a tribunal and hadn’t done it, they would be asked why they werenot following best practice,” she said. OH and HR would have a key role together in training line managers abouttheir new responsibilities for recording absence, she added. Most employers will have not looked at their policies for some considerabletime, but an overhaul would eventually lead to smoother processes.