Policy number: CS-1315-2013
Policy title: Employee Information
Policy owner: Chief Human Resources Officer
Effective date: December 2013
Last Revised: August 23, 2023
On this page:
- Application and Scope
- Accountability and Compliance
- Policy Revision Date
- Specific Links
This policy outlines Human Resources collection, use, disclosure, and retention of personal employee information required to fulfill Mohawk College’s requirements by law and for purposes stated within this policy.
This policy applies to all employees, current and former of the College.
“Employee” means a person under the employ of Mohawk College either:
- On a full-time, ongoing basis ether under the terms of the Academic Employees Collective Agreement, the Support Staff Collective Agreement, Part-Time Support Staff Collective Agreement or the Terms and Conditions for Administrative Staff; and/or
- On a less than full-time and/or temporary basis under the terms of an employment agreement. This does not include fee for service contractual arrangements or independent contractors.
“Employment file” refers to the file created for each College employee that is retained in the Human Resources Department. Employment files will contain copies of all documentation relating to employment including, but not limited to: documentation relating to pay, benefits, pension, terms of employment, resume, signed contract of employment, performance documentation, disciplinary letters, career development records and attendance.
“Express Consent” is permission that is given specifically, either verbally or in writing.
“External Party” is any organization outside of the College (potential employer, bank, lending institution, attorney, background verification company, etc.).
Safeguarding employee information is a priority for Mohawk College. Mohawk College is committed to ensuring that employment information is protected from unauthorized access, unintended disclosures or theft.
The College recognizes the need for clarity regarding the content of Employment Files and a consistent process for employees to follow when requesting access to employment files or employee information maintained by the Human Resources Department.
5.1 Accountability Framework
This policy has been approved by the Senior Leadership Team.
The Chief Human Resources Officer is authorized to ensure that the information within this policy is applied and that all actions comply with the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA), the Employment Standards Act, Collective Agreements, Terms and Conditions of Employment as well as any additional applicable legislation.
Employees are required to follow the Employee Information Procedure and provide a signed Employee Information Release Form when requesting access to their employment file.
6.2 Human Resources Department
Upon receipt of a request by an external party to provide employee related information, Human Resources will ensure that the signature on the accompanying release is verified. No information will be provided until a release with a verified signature has been received by the College except where required by law.
After receiving the express consent of the current or past employee, a manager is able to provide a verbal employment reference for a current or past employee.
Managers may provide written references to external parties for current and past employees only where a confirmed, written release has been received and verified by the Human Resources Department.
Manager shall consult the Employee Information Procedure when providing references.
7.1 Contents of Employment File
Employment files maintained in Human Resources are the official employment record of an employee and are the property of Mohawk College. Records contained within the Employment File will be kept in accordance with Policy CS-1300-2013 Records Retention.
7.1.1 Employment File Records Available for Review
The following list is what an employee is entitled to review in the employment file:
- Application Form
- Offer Letters and letters related to contract extensions and position changes
- Performance plans and/or disciplinary letters
- Authorization for a deduction or withholdings of pay
- Employment history – including salary information
- Required Certifications
- Performance Development Documents
- Mandatory Continuing Education Records (Maintained in Working at Mohawk)
- Benefit Enrolment Information (Maintained in Benefits Record)
- Retirement Application (Maintained in Benefits Record)
- Job Related Certifications
- Conflict of Interest/Gift in Kind Disclosure Forms
Exclusions: Employment references conducted during the recruitment process.
7.2 External Release of Employment Information
No information regarding an employee shall be released to an external party without the written consent of the employee, except where required by law. Employee’s must complete the Employee Release Form prior to the release of any third-party information.
7.3 Employee Access of Employment File
Mohawk College permits current employees an opportunity to review their employment file that is maintained in the Human Resources Department. Employees requesting access shall follow the Employee Information Procedure.
7.4 Request for Removal of Disciplinary Records
Employees who are members of a bargaining unit, are entitled to request the removal of disciplinary records contained within in their employment file subject to the provisions of their applicable Collective Agreement.
Non-Unionized employees may, once each calendar year, request the removal of a disciplinary notice that has been in their employment file for more than one (1) year. The removal of such a notice shall be at the discretion of the Chief Human Resources Officer, or designee.
Employees may contact their Human Resources Strategic Partner to initiate any disciplinary record removal requests.
7.5 Employment Information Requests
The Human Resources Department will facilitate employee and/or third party access to information in accordance with the Employee Information Procedure. All requests will require a signed Employee Information Release Form and will be provided within the timelines outlined in the procedure.
Employment information requests may include employment verification (mortgage approvals, loans, background checks, etc.), a copy of an Employment File including for external Legal Counsel and/or an employment reference.
7.6 College Employee Access of Employment Files
Access to employment files will be restricted to members of the Human Resources Department except where there is a legitimate business need. Where a legitimate business need exists, requests to access employment files will be subject to the approval of a Human Resources Leader and be restricted to the employee’s manager, representatives of the General Counsel and Corporate Secretary’s Office, Payroll and external auditors.
8.1 Revision Date
The Chief Human Resources Officer will be responsible for reviewing this policy every five years or earlier where required.
This procedure ensures a consistent and secure process for employees and external parties to follow when requesting access to Employment Files or employee information maintained by the Human Resources Department.
1. Employee Access of Employment File
Mohawk College permits current employees to review their employment file that is maintained in the Human Resources Department by appointment. Employees are to contact askhr [at] mohawkcollege.ca () to make an appointment. Appointments will be scheduled within 14 working days after the request has been received by Human Resources.
A member of the Human Resources Department must be present when viewing the Employment File. Employees are able to request copies of any documents within their Employment File. Under no circumstances will employees be permitted to remove or alter their Employment File or any documents during the appointment.
2. Changes to the contents of the Employment File
Employment files maintained in Human Resources are the official employment record of an employee and are the property of Mohawk College. Additions to the employment file will be at the discretion of the Human Resources Department.
Employees are accountable for sharing copies of relevant credentials with their manager for inclusion in their employment file.
Employees may contact their Human Resources Strategic Partner to initiate any disciplinary record removal requests, subject to the provision of Employee Information Policy, section 7.4.
3. Employment Verification Letter Requests
The Human Resources Department will verify dates of employment, salary and last position held for employment verification purposes (mortgage approvals, loans, background checks, etc.) upon receipt of a written and verified Employee Release Form.
4. Requesting a Copy of an Employment File, including for external Legal Counsel
Employees requesting a copy of their employment file must submit an Employee Release Form.
Employees who have retained legal counsel and require detailed information regarding their employment must forward a copy of the External Request for Copy of Employment File Form along with their signed Employee Release Form to the Human Resources Department. Upon receipt of the written release and verification of the employee’s signature, the Human Resources Department will respond to the request within 21 business days. As a standard, copies of the employment file will be delivered via encrypted email to ensure security. External parties who require a physical copy, shipping and printing fees may apply.
5. Verbal Employment References
Managers can provide a verbal employment reference without the need for an Employee Release Form for a current or past employee following the receipt of express consent. When providing an employment reference, managers should speak to the facts regarding the employee’s performance and refrain from providing personal opinions. Managers should only speak to the areas of the employee’s skills and experience about which they have direct knowledge. It is recommended that a manager consult with their Human Resources Strategic Partner regarding what information should be provided when completing an employment reference.
6. Written Employment References
Managers may provide written references to external parties for current and past employees only where an Employee Release Form has been received and verified by the Human Resources Department. The manager should consult with their Human Resources Strategic Partner prior to submitting the reference.