1. Collecting and recording HR data is vitally important to an organisation. The collecting of the data could be to monitor that laws and regulations are being adhered to for example the Health and Safety at work act 1974, ensuring that all staff are maintaining high health and safety awareness and complying to the law. The data would need to be collected to enable the organisation to prove that it is adhering to current law and legislation. Another example could also be to monitor employee absence levels across the organisation and looking for any pattern or trend relating to individual absences. This data could be used in Absence review meetings and having all the correct and accurate data could be vital in a dispute with an employee. It could highlight issues with employee welfare and enable the company to offer support in order to support the employee back to work.
2. Storing Records
There are many methods of storing records, an example is: Electronic which includes hard disks drive – PC, CD – recorder, DVD, databases and spreadsheets, internet or intranet, USB devices, emails and virtual learning environments.
Electronic storage can have pros and cons. Advantages can be the speed and accuracy that it provides, spellcheckers etc can all help the documents to be stored accurately. Vast amounts of data can be stored on a computer software system and therefore not take up and physical office space. The electronic way of storing data can also be protected by a password meaning that it is secure and accurate at the same time and protected from anyone outside the HR function, and it means that a variety of colleagues can have access to update and amend the records at the same time, even updating at the same time as colleagues.
Manual storage can be personnel files, absence forms, reports, filing cabinets etc
There are lots of benefits to manual storage including having documents which need a physical signature and provide proof of identity like bank details etc. Also should a computer system crash or wipe the documents the paper copy is always accessible. Manual storage is easy to move around and is easy to keep protected and confidential via a lock/key etc although staff with access must ensure it is securely locked away.
3. UK Legislation
The Data Protection Act 1998 is about respecting individual rights when processing/collecting and storing their personal information. This is achievable for the company by being honest with employees about the use of their information and by following good data handling procedures. The act is compulsory and all organisations that hold or process personal data must adhere to this. Personal data should be processed fairly and lawfully, the data should be adequate, relevant and not excessive, it should be accurate and where necessary kept up to date, any data should not be kept for longer than necessary, data should be kept secure. All staff has responsibilities under the Act to ensure that their activities comply with the Data Protection Principles
Employees do have a right legally to access information that an organisation may hold on them. This could include information regarding any grievances or disciplinary action, or information obtained through performance monitoring processes. Processes should be in place to deal with a data request from an employee as a 40 day time limit is compulsory.
The health and safety at work at 1974 is legislation relating to protecting employees from injury or illness as a direct result of their job. All data relating to health and safety must be recorded and stored securely, including accident books. This data may be called upon many years after an employee has left the organisation so staff should ensure documents and information are kept in a secure adequate accessible place.
The Freedom of Information Act which came into force in 2000 gives you the right to ask any public sector organisation for all the recorded information they have on any subject. Anyone can make a request for information – there are no restrictions on your age, nationality or where you live. If you ask for information about yourself, then your request will be handled under the Data Protection Act 1998.
Recording, Analysing and using Human Resources information is highly important and ensuring it is accurate and efficient will support the organisation strategy in many ways. The Analysis can change the way the organisation moves forward and affect future plans/decisions.
Courtney from Study Moose
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