From this article, you will learn:

  • what an employer should know about employee documentation;
  • what the labor regulations say about employee files;
  • what the period of storing personal files by the company is

Every employer is obliged to create and store employee documentation. This obligation is applicable regardless of the conditions for creating an archive or the number of people hired. In January 2019 the Polish government introduced changes in the period of storing files, which currently is 10 years (in most cases), instead of 50 years like before. However, these changes mostly apply to keeping employee records of the workers hired in 2019 and later.


What is included in worker’s personal files and employee documentation?

The term „employee documentation” according to Article 94 point 9a of the Labor Code means:employees’ personal files and other documentation related to employment relationship. In the regulation of the Minister of Family, Labor and Social Policy of 10 December 2018 regarding employee documentation, its scope has been specified.

Employee documentation consists of personal files and other documentation regarding employment relationship matters.

We can distinguish 4 parts of employees’ personal files:

  • part A – statements and documents which were used to apply for the employment, for example, medical examination,
  • part B – statements and documents related to the work course such as the employment contract or changes in employment conditions,
  • part C – statements and documents which were related to the end of the work in a given company (that is termination of the contract, copy of work certificate),
  • part D – statements about punishing an employee.

When it comes to the other documents covering matters related to the employment relationship they consist, among others, of:

  • working time records,
  • documents related to applying for leave and its usage,
  • submitted applications related to remuneration for the work,
  • garment allocation files.

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What is the period of storing employee documentation?

Employee documentation can be stored not only in paper form, but also (after meeting specified legal and technological requirements) in electronic form. Until 2019, the period of storing documents, regardless of the form, was 50 years. Changes were introduced in January 2019 when the legislator shortened this period to 10 years. Unfortunately, new rules only concern people hired after the date of this change.

However, after meeting additional conditions, there is a possibility to shorten the period of storing documentation of even those workers whose employment started between 1999 and 2018. To do this it is only necessary to send to the ZUS (the Social Insurance Institution):

  • statement of the intention to hand in the information reports (ZUS OSW) and
  • information reports ZUS RIA.

It should be noted that shortening the period of storing employee documentation does not apply to the workers hired before 1999.

The following list sums up the most important points of the Regulation of the Minister of Family, Labor and Social Policy of 10 December 2018 regarding employee documentation: 


How to calculate the period of storing employee documentation?

It may seem that specifying the period of storing employee documentation is complicated, but in fact the rules are very simple.

An employer is obliged to store employee documentation for 10 years counting from the end of the calendar year in which the employment relationship was terminated. If the employment relationship of a given worker ends on 31 October 2022, the documentation will have to be stored until 31 December 2032.

After this date, an employee can collect their documents no later than 31 January 2033. In the case when no one picks up the documentation, the employer is obliged to destroy the documents within 12 months.