Electronic personnel files are on the rise in HR departments. It simplifies and optimizes workflows in personnel management. Employee information is available at any time with a click. But how about that Privacy out?

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1. Special requirements for the digital file

Whether a personal file in paper form or electronic form is managed, is first of all secondary importance.

Basically, it is always the privacy to observe and ensure. In the electronic form, however, the data protection laws make the employer special requirements.

2. Trust relationship application

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The application process is already subject to regulations. It is to be seen as a pre-contractual relationship of trust. Paragraph 26 paragraph 1 BDSG (Federal Data Protection Act) states that personal data may be processed by employees for purposes of the employment relationship if this is necessary for the decision about the establishment of an employment relationship [...] is required.

In the application process, this data includes, for example, name and address, telephone number and e-mail address, certificates and Curriculum vitae. In addition to these typical application documents, the storage of personal data that is permitted Ask are collected are unproblematic from a data protection point of view.

3. E-recruiting systems control the process

Many companies offer applicants the opportunity to apply via a special portal, i.e. online, on the company website apply.

This includes personal information and professional history as well as the uploading of documents such as CV, references, certificates, etc. Such e-Recruiting-Systems the process of an application process and are resource-saving for the human resources department.

4. Electronic system can not decide alone

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Does he apply? Candidate about the Online-portal one Company and act If systems are involved in the decision about filling vacancies, then Art. 22 DS-GVO (General Data Protection Regulation) must first be taken into account. This prohibits subjecting a data subject, ie an applicant, solely to a decision based on automated processing.

However, the scope of application of this provision is not yet open if the System Applications sorted out for purely formal reasons, e.g. B. if mandatory information or required certificates are missing. In practice, this means that an automated pre-selection may take place, but the final decision on the hiring of an applicant must be made by a natural person and must not be left to the electronic system alone.

5. What may be stored in the electronic personnel file?

awareness already requires the scanning of the documents. This is relatively easy for new employees, provided that the data required for the employment relationship has not already been entered via the e-recruiting system. However, it must also be checked whether the personal data may continue to be stored. When changing over the personnel file of "old" employees, not everything may be scanned. But in (almost) every personnel file there are old and outdated documents that may no longer be processed from a data protection point of view.

6. Note purpose limitation

Two of the six principles governing the processing of personal data should be mentioned: Firstly, the storage, use and processing of personal data (handling of personal data) must always be based on a specific purpose.

The responsible persons must adhere to this purpose. Ie. Only the personal data of the employee necessary for carrying out the employment relationship may be stored. Secondly, this means that everything else has to be deleted or destroyed in the case of paper documents.

7. Keyword "required

An (electronic) personnel file may only contain the information provided by the employer

a) has lawfully acquired and

b) for which there is a material interest.

The key word is “required”, meaning the information can't just be useful. If the company outsources the scanning of personnel files and documents to a service provider, order processing in accordance with Art. 28 GDPR (processor) must be concluded with the service provider.

8. After termination of employment

Personnel files retired Employees are often kept for decades. In many cases, the view is held that the employer is obliged to do so. But there is a distinction to be made here:

The relevant regulations are of tax and social security nature, which obligate the employer, on the one hand to keep accounting records (eg salary and payroll) and, on the other hand, to keep them for a certain amount of time. The reservation of permission for further storage results from a relevant law (eg AO, EStG, SGB) as well as balance sheet regulations.

9. Observe the storage obligation

Various health and safety regulations, including the Working Hours Act (ArbZG), the Maternity Protection Act (MuSchG) and the Occupational Integration Management (BEM) also oblige the employer to keep personnel records. These are documents that are (often) kept outside the personnel file of the individual employee.

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