September 23, 2020

Do we have to keep original copies of scanned documents?

We are moving to electronic archiving and the only items we haven’t scanned in yet are employment documents such as Conditions of Employment, TFN declarations, etc.

Are these also able to be kept in electronic copy without maintaining the original paper copies? I want to make sure we will meet both audit and ATO requirements.

Pursuant to the Fair Work Regulations, an employer must keep certain employee records for 7 years and make them available to employees for copying and inspection on request.

The records you need to keep relate to basic employment details (i.e. the nature of an employee’s employment), pay, overtime hours, averaging arrangements, leave entitlements, superannuation contributions, termination of employment , individual flexibility arrangements and guarantees of annual earnings.

There is nothing in the Regulations to suggest that these documents have to be retained in paper form. The only requirement is that the records be properly maintained, i.e. legible and readily accessible to an inspector. Therefore, we consider that as long as they are capable of being produced to an employee or former employee, or inspector on request, or for auditing and the like purposes, (i.e. printing them out) electronic storage will satisfy the requirements of the Regulations.

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