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Do you know what is in your Personnel File

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by stmha, Oct 7, 2015.

  1. stmha

    stmha Established commenter

    Your personnel file will contain every document, letter, report, appraisal that relates to as an employee. Of course there will be a host of electronic documents that may be stored, or even cctv footage which will not be readily accessible.

    How many times do we view our file throughout our career. Actually very few times and mostly never. It is almost as if it is a measure of distrust in our SLT if we ask to view the PF.

    Then one day you receive a letter explaining that you are required to attend a disciplinary meeting. You are presented with a list of 'crimes' that you have committed which have all been evidenced from your personnel file.

    You didn’t realise the HT makes notes after each meeting with you, or that a parent once complained that you didn’t answer an email about hwk.

    Put carefully together it portrays you as the worst employee ever, examples of bullying, tardiness, missed deadlines and so the list continues. Of course no-one ever felt the need to raise these issues with you and your professional reviews have been great. Yet here you are with the rap sheet....and the conclusion ...guilty as charged.

    Most union reps will recount painful memories of situations just like this. So what can you do and how do you keep one step ahead?

    Making a Subject Access Request in accordance with s.7 of the DPA 2015 allows you to access every piece of information held about you as long as disclosure does not breach someone else's right to privacy.

    It must be made in writing and there can be a charge made for admin, max £10. They are allowed 40 days from the moment they receive your request (assuming you pay the fee if it is not waivered).

    You should request any piece of information which mentions you by name, staff code or abbreviation, position etc and can include emails written about you.

    It is even possible to retrieve deleted emails if you contact your server direct. But hey now we’re being paranoid.

    Good luck
    katweasel64 likes this.
  2. stmha

    stmha Established commenter

    ok typo's all corrected..i hope
    katweasel64 likes this.
  3. katweasel64

    katweasel64 New commenter

    Had a friend go through an almost identical experience. They could have done with knowing this. Very interesting.
    stmha likes this.
  4. Torey

    Torey Occasional commenter

    You just need to ask if you want to see your PF and they have 40 days to provide you with the information. If you needed to make a subject access request I'd be concerned by how far the relationship had broken. It would probably only be necessary for a tribunal.
  5. stmha

    stmha Established commenter

    Yes i agree, the only problem with a personnel file request is that it isnt binding, they can omit documents at a whim. If you are in a position of a sham disciplinary I think the relationship may have already broken down.

    I would suggest that an SAR is made if everything is fine and dandy, so completely agree. In fact not even sure I would be checking my file at all.
  6. sabrinakat

    sabrinakat Star commenter

    No, not all typos corrected....

    not sure of the point of this thread actually...


    damnant quod non intellegunt
    Smudge78 and monicabilongame like this.
  7. Lucy12

    Lucy12 New commenter

    I'm not clear what you are advising stmha. Are you recommending that we should routinely submit a Subject Access Request to see our staff files? Or only if we are facing disciplinary action?
  8. stmha

    stmha Established commenter

    Only if you are facing a disciplinary, no you would soon be out of favour and sent to Coventry if you did this on a monthly basis...but would certainly keep the office staff busy
  9. sabrinakat

    sabrinakat Star commenter


    I ask again - what was the point of this thread?

    damnant quid non.intellegunt
  10. stmha

    stmha Established commenter

    I dont understand why you would keep on a posting if you cant see the point of it. Feel free to look at other postings or suggest a topic and I will try to oblige. Even better start a new posting yourself. But if you can't see the point then it does seem a waste of both of our time answering a question that doesnt interest you
  11. CWadd

    CWadd Star commenter

    Sent to Coventry? You mean they will ship you to the Midlands?

    Or do you mean coventry?
  12. stmha

    stmha Established commenter

    An old expression meaning to been isolated....i quite like conventry
  13. RedQuilt

    RedQuilt Star commenter

    I think the questions raised about the purpose of the OP have arisen, in part at least, because the OP didn't make it clear that it was concerning viewing a personnel file as part of a grievance process.

    Wrt personnel files, you cannot guarantee that everything that should be in there, is. I have found this recently when my file was requested by my solicitor (not for anything education related) and it was heavily redacted.
  14. stmha

    stmha Established commenter

    Apologies Red Quilt.

    Has your solicitor applied to the court for unredacted versions. I received several emails where the only visible text was my name. After it was ordered by the judge I found my union had been discussing my case with my HT. It didnt make a lot of difference to my case but it was very annoying.

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