One of HR’s core functions is documentation. There are documents for simply everything, from employment offer to termination. Obviously, if HR were required to keep each and every document relating to each and every employee forever; the office would be left with no space for anything other than documents!

Care should be taken to make employment documentation defensible

This is where HR has to be discrete and knowledgeable about employment documentation. Some documents are important and need to be kept for entire length of the organization’s lifespan. These generally relate to official business communication such as from the investors, the legal authorities and so on. But employment documents are bound by some conventions.

These are governed by best practices. The result of many years of collective wisdom from people of experience; best practices are a kind of guideline, a sort of code of conduct.

Make them defensible

As far as employment documentation is concerned, HR has to ensure that it doesn’t land the organization and the management in trouble. Let us say an employee has been terminated. This calls for maintenance of employment documents that are in such order that they are legally unassailable. When due diligence is exercised in all aspects of the action, employment documentation should be of such nature that it is foolproof, or to use a more appropriate term, lawsuit-proof.

What characteristics should employment documentation possess?

Some of the points HR can keep in mind while making and handling employment documents:

·         Defensibility

·         It should never work against the employer

·         What to document should be known

·         How to document should also be known

·         HR should also determine when to document what it documents

·         What not to document should be reflected in the documentation

·         There should be a good idea of about the timing, purpose and content, and how they synchronize with each other

·         The important element of retaliation should be shown

·         The managers should be a part of the documentation, which should be in consultation and conjunction with them

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