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Inspection of the personnel file: HR managers need to know that

Every employee has the right to inspect his or her personal file. If the files are kept in paper form, this is associated with effort for HR managers. With a digital personnel file, on the other hand, employees can conveniently access their data on their computer or smartphone. But what should you watch out for when viewing the personnel file - what is allowed and what is not?

Save and retrieve employee data in one place without errors and in compliance with the law. This is how it works with Personio's digital personnel file.

1. Who is allowed to view the personnel file?

  • Above all stands that Workers unrestricted access to his personal file. This entitlement also exists if there is no works council or if the employer company does not have a works council.
  • The works Council, if available, may not look into the personnel file independently. According to Section 83, Paragraph 1, Sentence 2, BetrVG, a single member may be present at the inspection, provided the employee asks him to do so. The works council member is subject to a duty of confidentiality unless the employee releases him from this.
  • From the company or operation should only Employees who have to make personnel decisionsHave a look at the personnel file.
  • Third person outside the company or operation, e.g. B. Lawyers can only view the personnel file under strict conditions.

2. What can be seen?

The employee has unrestricted access to his personnel files. This also includes the highly sensitive data and documents that are not directly in the personnel file, e.g. B. the BEM file.

Store and maintain data centrally

Let employees view their personnel files themselves and maintain data. You only have to confirm the change with a click. So all information is up to date.

3. When can the personnel file be inspected?

In short: at any time and without giving a reason. The employer must allow him to do this during his working hours and with ongoing payment of wages. Out of consideration, however, the employee should avoid wanting to look into the files at peak times or too often.

4. Why do employees want to look into the files?

Since the employer is not obliged to inform the employee about added documents, notes or changes, an employee's request for inspection of the files is understandable. The personnel file includes all information and documents that the employer has about the employee. However, only data that is relevant to the employment relationship is included in the file. Very sensitive data, e.g. B. on illnesses or missteps, must not be in the formal file, but must be kept outside. Nevertheless, the employee can inspect these documents if necessary.

Often there is a specific reason to want to view the personnel file. This can be, for example, the fear that the file might contain incorrect information. However, one conversation is usually sufficient to correct incorrect information or to explain the entries to the employee in a comprehensible manner.

When the employee wants to change something

In the most extreme case, the employee has the right to have the employer remove certain contents of the file or add a reply. If the company does not comply with this request, it can assert the claim in court.

What the employee is not allowed to do

Your employee must not explicitly allow his lawyer to make copies of the documents. In this case, as the employer, you may refuse to allow the lawyer to inspect the personnel file. Note: The employee himself may, however, make copies of the documents and notes.

In addition, the employee is not allowed to take his or her personnel file home or to remove it from the office. The inspection itself must also take place in the company or operation. According to § 83 BetrVG, this also applies to companies without a works council.

Establish inspection rules

In principle, a works agreement, a collective agreement or other special regulations can regulate the modalities for viewing the personnel file.

These then determine, for example, the frequency, location or precise implementation of the inspection. The option of such a works agreement, like the general right to inspect the personnel file, is stipulated by the Works Constitution Act (BetrVG).

How you can make it easier to inspect the personnel file

Even if it is sometimes just a new address: Changes in the personnel file cost HR a lot of time and nerves - especially with hundreds of employees and Excel as “storage space”.

Is this what the process looks like if you want to change employee data?

Imagine that this happened in the background and that there were no more inquiries in the HR department. This is possible with digital personnel files.

What are digital personnel files?

You no longer manage your employees' data on paper, but online in software. Here, every employee gets their own “page” in which all employment-relevant data and documents are stored.

The advantages of digital personnel files in Personio

In Personio you can design digital personnel files according to your wishes. To do this, you can integrate different employee information as mandatory and desired fields and change them at any time.

  • HR is relieved: Because employees change their data themselves and can view it at any time.
  • All employee data in one place: And you save time because mountains of paper are eliminated.
  • Secure access: Through our rights management, HR decides who can see and change what.
  • Satisfied employees: Because HR creates more transparency through Employee Self Service.