All organisations collect data relating to their employees. 

This factsheet introduces the legal position on the retention of HR records in the UK, including the Data Protection Act 2018. It offers two checklists: one giving statutory retention periods where these exist, and the other giving recommendations for keeping information.

This factsheet was last updated by Lisa Ayling: solicitor and employment law specialist

Lisa is a lawyer with many years’ experience of contentious and nonā€contentious employment law. As well as writing and editing employment law content for the CIPD, Lisa lectures extensively on employment law, including years as a senior lecturer and leader of the employment team at BPP University and on the LLM programme at Kingston University. 

Related content

Factsheets
Data protection and GDPR in the workplace

Introduces data protection law in the UK, covering the obligations of employers and individual rights to accessing information.

Reports
People Profession 2023: International report

Insight into how global issues are impacting people professionals in the UK, Ireland, Asia-Pacific, MENA and Canada

Reports
People Profession 2023: Asia-Pacific report

Insight into how global issues are impacting people professionals in Australia, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Singapore

Reports
People Profession 2023: Middle East and North Africa report

Insight into how global issues are impacting people professionals in Egypt, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates

Explore our other factsheets

Factsheets
The role of employment tribunals

Guidance for employers on the claims process, the tribunal hearing and settlement of claims

Factsheets
Dismissal procedures

Introductory guidance on dismissal in the UK, focusing on unfair dismissal and with advice on following a fair dismissal procedure

Factsheets
Apprenticeships: an introduction

Understand what apprenticeships are, their role in workforce development, and the current UK policy context

Factsheets
Skills development in the UK workplace

Understand what we mean by skills in the workplace, UK skill levels and the government’s skills policy.

Factsheets