Every business is required to keep original corporate documents for a certain amount of time before they can shred paper originals or delete digital originals. But unless your company maintains a valid retention schedule, which tells you how long to keep different types of documents, it may be difficult to know when a document is ready for destruction. And how long you keep certain records gets more complicated after that. There’s no better example than in how long to keep employee records after termination in Canada.
You would think there is one simple answer to the question. And there is. In Ontario, an employee’s records that exist when they are terminated, must be kept for at least three years following termination.
Why Not Every Employee Record Must Be Kept for Three Years After Termination
Many businesses don’t realize that they don’t have to keep every employee document in storage until after termination.The Ontario Employment Standards Act outlines the following retention periods, among others, for some employment records.
- Overtime Hours – Records of agreements to work overtime and records of overtime hours worked must be kept for three years following the last day on which overtime was worked under a particular agreement.
- Vacation Pay – Businesses must keep records of vacation pay paid to an employee and a record of how the pay was calculated. Generally, employers are required to keep vacation pay records for five years after the record of vacation time and vacation pay was made.
- Documents Related to Other Types of Leave – Documents relating to being away from work due to pregnancy, personal emergency, critical illness and other issues unrelated to vacation time, must be kept for three years after the leave expired.
If you found this post helpful, check out our recent article on how to prevent identity theft in Canada.