Since it's the start of the year, it’s a fresh start for everyone. For Legal Guide readers, that means we take a look at things which can use some “refreshing” on the legal side as well. One thing I highly recommend to my clients and students is refreshing your employee records.
“What do you mean employee records, Attorney?”
Well, we’re talking about the information stated in your company's employee records or 201 files. The things that are found in their bio-data or information sheets. Things like:
- Contact number
- Emergency contact details
- Civil Status
- Children and Spouse name
- Other information which may change from time to time
Why is it important to ask for employee records updates on a regular basis?
Well, these types of information tends to change from time to time. And there are certain activities which depend on the accuracy of this information. Let’s tackle a few that comes to mind.
We have to prepare for instances where our employees get involved in emergencies. Imagine if they were en route somewhere and your office gets a call saying that your employee gets involved in a traffic accident. The employee is unconscious, and they only got in touch with the office because of the company ID found in the employee’s bag.
Now, the doctor needs input on making a decision for a medical procedure. You’re left with the question: how do you get in touch with the proper family member who can make the decision.
Naturally, that’s where the employee’s 201 file comes into play under emergency contacts.
For disciplinary cases
Another case where updated employee records comes into play is when the employee is missing from the office but is involved in a disciplinary case. You need to send out notices.
Under the labor code, where are these notices supposed to be sent? You got it… at the last known address based on the employee’s records. It pays to have the latest address because people move homes all the time!
There are instances where we assume that the employee records is correct the entire time, but upon checking, we find that we’ve been using the wrong information. This goes for account numbers used in government transactions and such.
Are you using the right TIN, Pag-ibig, Philhealth, or SSS numbers in your remittances? I think this should be double checked at least.
For claiming benefits
When benefits are involved, a lot of people want to involve themselves. I once handled a case where a worker died while working. The company had benefits for surviving family members.
The surprising thing about this is that there were 3 women who came to the office claiming to be the wife of the worker! We had to call in security because the 3 women were screaming at each other.
How was the case resolved? Well, we just referred to the 201 file to see which woman was the spouse on record. We referred to the marriage certificate which was filed.
Imagine if we didn’t have this file on hand, we would have had to launch a fact-finding commission just to clarify the civil status of these women individually.
I’m in! How do we update the employee records?
Ok, so now we’ve discussed the benefits of having your employees update their records at the start of the year, let me teach you how I recommend tha this be done.
You Issue a memorandum directing all employees to stop by HR and inform them about any changes to their records. If there are changes, they fill out a new employee information sheet / bio-data / 201 file (whatever you guys call it in your company) and they just fill in the parts which have changed.
What about those without any changes to report?
The problem with memos like this is that it’s hard to get employees to participate, especially the ones with no changes to report. So there are 2 ways of doing this.
First, if there are no changes, feel free to ignore the memo and carry on with your day. The upside is that you won’t be interrupting your employees and they can keep working. The downside is that you won’t be able to capture any errors which would have been discussed if they took the time to check.
Second method is to require those with no changes to submit a document/certification that there are no changes. It can be a simple form saying that “I hereby certify that my details are up to date as of today. No changes to report.” The advantage is that you get to talk to all employees and give them the chance to check their information. The downside is all employees would have to go thru HR.
Just assess whether this is feasible in your own situation. Or, you can delegate that to the supervisors so they don’t have to go to HR individually.
So that’s it for today’s article. We learned:
- What are employee records
- Why they are important
- When is the best time to update them
- How to update them
Hope I was able to provide you with some ideas on how to start off the year properly!
By the way, if you need assistance with employee records, we recommend going to www.dancheinc.com because they run an awesome workshop on that topic. Inquire with them at firstname.lastname@example.org so you can reserve a slot.