Get your business compliant
Compliance is not necessarily the sexiest part of running a business. But, like death and taxes, it is unavoidable and has to be managed accordingly.
Many businesses don’t understand just how much work may be required, or that they are required, by law, to manage private information within certain timeframes. Managing private information means to store it correctly and securely, or to destroy after a certain time period has passed.
The key to compliance lies in exercising diligence in following Privacy Act Guidelines. Non-compliance can have devastating effects on a organisation, and result in loss of business, or event criminal liability. You could even lose your insurance coverage, so be conscious and careful, and well informed. Don’t get caught out!
In general, the time period to keep documents safe and secure is 7 years. There are variables however, depending on the kinds of documents you are storing. For example a record of an employee should be saved for 7 years following their termination. Incident reports, for Workplace Health and Safety relevance, should be maintained for 5 years. Trademarking documents should be kept for a minimum of 10 years. There are also industry specific variations, so be sure to keep up to date with your specific industry.
What to do when you no longer have to store documents.
Once you are free to clean out, and get rid of documents, then it is imperative to ensure they are destroyed SECURELY and WITH CONFIDENCE. Choose a shredding company who guarantees complete destruction, and provides you with a Certificate of Destruction to prove it.
Use a full service data destruction company which allows you and your employees to focus on your work, without worrying about document destruction.
By shredding your data properly, you make it impossible for it to be used for fraudulent purposes. You protect yourself, your customers, and your business. Ideally, the company you choose should also dispose of the waste in an environmentally conscious way.
Electronic Document Storage & Destruction
Most of us store information electronically now, so it is vital to have a plan for electronic and digital document destruction in place. If you are looking for guidance about how to manage electronic information, publications like AS 4390 Australian Standards for Records Management, and Australian Standard (AS ISO 15489) may be useful. As for paper documentation however, the same rules apply – digital data including hard drives, computers, external drives, mobile phones and tablets all must be completely destroyed professionally for business to achieve full compliance.
Rules about Document Destruction
As well as understanding the time period you are required to retain documents, there are also laws and guidelines when it comes to document destruction itself. If documents may be required for legal proceedings, for example, then it may be necessary to retain them indefinitely. If not, businesses are required to explain to their staff and have policies in place which ensures that all document and information destruction is undertaken safely and securely.
If you have any questions about managing your compliance with regard to document destruction, get in touch with a member of our team. We’ll make it easy for you.