Employment disputes often come down to what parties have on record. Everything from notes during an interview to performance reviews and termination notices can come under scrutiny when employees and employers are in conflict, so comprehensive, accurate record-keeping is vital.
Record-keeping violations can also jeopardize employee rights, so it is essential to avoid common record-keeping mistakes in five areas:
The law requires employers in British Columbia to provide workers with electronic or written wage statements every payday. These statements should accurately reflect the following:
- Regular earnings
- Overtime wages
And it’s not just the most recent statements that parties should hold on to. Having a history of wage statements allows parties to track potential issues as far back as necessary to uncover bad practices or oversights.
Employee absences, leaves and attendance
The time a person is not at work is also crucial to track. Accurate records of lateness, vacation time, holidays and employee leaves ensure full and fair compensation for workers and employer compliance with federal and provincial laws.
If an employee is underperforming, employers would be wise to keep details of these issues on file. These records can help when it comes to documenting patterns or developing improvement plans for the employee. If there are no records of alleged performance issues, disputes can arise when an employer fires an employee citing poor performance.
Employees should know what employers expect of them, whether these expectations are concerning their job roles or keeping proprietary information confidential. Clearly defining these rules and restrictions in writing and ensuring both parties have access to and understand them can prevent complicated disputes from arising in the first place. The terms of written policies and contracts of employment will be key to resolving any dispute.
Information like employee or client social insurance numbers, health information and records are incredibly valuable. Employers collecting this information properly is essential, as is protecting these records in accordance with the employer’s privacy obligations. Irresponsible or unsecured practices in this area can trigger data loss and privacy breaches.
When parties do not prioritize solid record-keeping practices because of negligence or carelessness, it can be incredibly difficult to quickly and fairly resolve conflicts or conduct workplace investigations. So when in doubt, both employers and employees should err on the side of maintaining records and receipts.