The Document Data Retention and Destruction Policy corporate records are important assets for companies and include essentially all records, whether paper or in electronic form.
This policy template is available for download in Word format.
In just a few minutes, you will be able to create a document data retention and destruction policy. This policy covers rules to be followed with respect to:
The objective of this Policy is to provide guidelines for retention and / or destruction of documents or data in accordance with the statutory requirements. The policy also endeavors to protect < Company Name > from any misuse of its classified information obtained through documents or data.
This Policy applies to all employees, either permanent or temporary, associates, partners or vendors who handle Company information. This policy is guided by Central and State Government laws, as applicable.
The policy classifies the documents in two categories:
(i)Documents that need to be preserved permanently, and (ii)Documents that need to be preserved only for a specific period of time
The records of < Company Name > (the “Company”) are important assets. Company records or documents essentially include all records, whether paper or in electronic form. A record may be in the form of a transaction, report, analysis, memorandum, e-mail, contracts, employee information and data, patents, drawings, designs, prototypes or a case study or anything that is created or owned by < Company >.
The law requires the Company to maintain certain types of corporate records either permanently or for a specified period of time. Failure to retain the records could subject the employees and the Company to penalties and fines, cause the loss of rights, obstruct justice, adversely impact potential evidence in a lawsuit, place the Company in contempt of court or seriously disadvantage the Company in any litigation.
This policy is owned by < Name of the Person > and reachable @ < Contact Number > and < email address >
The Company expects all employees to fully comply with this Policy, provided that all employees should note the following general exception to any stated destruction schedule:
If an employee has reasons to believe or the Company informs the employee concerned that Company records are relevant to litigation, or potential litigation (i.e., a dispute that could result in litigation), then the employee must preserve those records until the Legal or Respective Department determines that the records are no longer needed. This exception supersedes any previously or subsequently established destruction schedule for those records. If an employee(s) believes that an exception may apply or has any question regarding the possible applicability of that exception, he/she may contact the Office of Group General Counsel.
The Company, from time to time, establishes retention or destruction policies or schedules for specific categories of records in order to ensure legal compliance and also to accomplish other objectives such as preserving intellectual property, etc. While minimum retention periods are suggested, the retention of the documents identified in those schedules and of documents not included in the identified categories should be determined by the Head of the Department, primarily by the application of the general guidelines affecting document retention identified above, as well as any other pertinent factors.
Broadly, there are two subsects of Company records - Temporary and Retained.
Temporary records include all business documents that are intended to be superseded by final or permanent records or which are intended to be used only for a limited period of time including but not limited to written memoranda and dictation to be typed in the future, reminders, to-do lists, reports, drafts, and interoffice correspondence regarding a client or business transaction.
Temporary records can be destroyed or permanently deleted if in electronic form when a project or matter closes.
Upon closing such temporary files, the respective departments shall gather and review all such temporary records. Upon destruction or deletion, organise the final records (and duplicates) in a file marked “Final” and store them appropriately, as required under this Policy.
Retained records include all business documents that are not superseded by modification or addition, including but are not limited to documents given (or sent via electronic form) to any third party not employed by the Company, or to any government agency; final memoranda and reports; correspondence; handwritten telephone memoranda not further transcribed; minutes; specifications; journal entries; cost estimates; etc.
The Company shall maintain all records as per the Companies Act, 2013 for not less than 8 (Eight) Years. Documents that are to be made available on the Company’s website in Compliance with the website for a period of 5 years, and thereafter will be archived for a period of 3 years.
Tax records include, but are not limited to Documents concerning tax assessment, tax filings, tax returns, proof of deductions, appeal preferred against any claim made by the relevant tax Authorities. Tax Records shall be maintained for a period of 8 or for a period of 8 (Eight) years after a final Order has been received with respect to any matter that was preferred for Appeal, as the case may be.
The Company is required to keep certain documents relating to recruitment, employment and personnel information, performance review, action taken by or against any employee, complaints by or against any employee. These Documents relating to Employment or Personnel information shall be retained for a period of at least 8 (Eight) years.
Press Release shall include, but shall not be limited to, any intimation given to the press regarding financial results, profits, Meetings of the Board, General Meetings, and overall performance of the Company. The Company shall retain all Press Releases for at least 8 years.
Legal Documents shall include, but shall not be limited to contracts, legal opinions, pleadings, Orders passed by any court or tribunal, Judgments, Interim Orders, Documents relating to cases pending in any Court or Tribunal or any other Authority empowered to give a decision on any matter, Awards, Documents relating to property matters.
A contract shall be retained for a period of 8 (Eight) years or for minimum of 8 (Eight) years after the expiry of the term of the contract, whichever is higher.
Documents relating to any property owned by the Company shall be retained perpetually. Other property Documents shall be retained for a period of 8 (Eight) years or for a period of 8 (Eight) years after the rights in such property ceases to exist, whichever is higher.
Orders passed by any Court or Tribunal or any Authority or Judgment that are final in nature and cannot be superseded shall be retained permanently. Interim Orders shall be retained till a Final Order is received, or for a period of 8 (Eight) years whichever is higher.
Pleadings shall be retained for a period of 8 (Eight) years or till the matter has been disposed of, whichever is higher.
The Company shall retain relevant marketing and sales Documents for a period of at least 8 (Eight) years.
Intellectual Property Documents shall include, but shall not be limited to Copyrights, Trademarks, Patents and Industrial Designs. Intellectual Property Rights Documents that are owned by the Company shall be retained by the Company permanently.
Licenses shall be retained till the time of validity of the License and for a period of 8 (Eight) years thereafter or for a period of at least 8 (Eight) years, whichever is higher.
All records in physical form are to be maintained by the Records/Respective Department(s) at the respective locations.
Electronic version(s) of all of the records are to be maintained within the Company’s centralised electronic record software database, which is maintained by the IT Services Department.
Physical records, pursuant to the retention periods specified in the Document Retention Schedule, shall be disposed of using a cross-cut shredder. The Records Department shall adopt appropriate procedures to permanently dispose of any non-paper physical records, such as photographs or audio/video recordings.
In the event that it is necessary to manually dispose of an electronic record, the IT Department shall use the “permanent delete” function to permanently dispose of electronic records.
If a lawsuit or other proceeding involving the Company is reasonably foreseeable, all destruction of any possibly relevant documents, including e-mail, must cease immediately. Documents relating to the lawsuit or potential legal issue will then be retained and organised under the supervision of the Group General Counsel’s Office.
Violation of this aspect of the Company’s Document Retention Policy could subject the Company and the employees involved to civil and criminal penalties.
In the event of a Document Hold Direction, the IT Department shall immediately disable the “permanent delete” and “automatic delete” functions of the Company’s software with respect to the designated records and disable the automatic deletion of recycle bins and deleted items folders on appropriate Company computers; the Records Department shall immediately suspend all disposition of records maintained on-site or off-site location as appropriate; and the Group General Counsel’s Office shall immediately notify all appropriate employees by e-mail that they are not to dispose of relevant Temporary Records or other records until notified otherwise.
All electronic communication systems as well as all communications and stored information transmitted, received, or contained on the Company’s information systems are the property of the Company. Employees using this equipment for personal purposes do so at their own risk. Employees have no expectation of privacy in connection with the use of Company equipment or with the transmission, receipt, or storage of information using the Company’s equipment. Authorised Company personnel may access communications and stored information at any time without notice or consent.
Employees should avoid using Company email for personal purposes. Personal emails should be deleted as soon as possible.
E-mails relating to audit work papers and financial controls should be retained for at least 8 years.
All emails to the Company’s Officers or Audit Committee relating to complaints on auditing, accounting, frauds or internal controls should be retained permanently.
Any messages exchanged between the Company and third parties (such as consultants and auditors) should be archived, regardless of their content. Instant messages have the same status as emails and should be treated identically.
Any Deviation from this policy has to be approved by Management. Any changes to the policy have to be approved by Legal and Compliance.
Violation of this policy is subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination. If an employee, including the Reporting Manager, is suspected of violating the policy, he/she must undergo a thorough investigation. The circumstances of each violation will determine the severity of each scenario.