I recently joined a small Ontario company without an HRIS that keeps all its employment records in paper, including medical notes submitted for absences and leaves. i. Am I right to assume that these medical notes should be filed separately? ii. And can they be destroyed if they’re over 2-years-old?
Yes and No.
Separate storage: The key question is whether the medical notes constitute what’s called protected health information (PHI), i.e., private medical info that can be traced specifically to the individual employee to which they relate. If so, you must ensure that only authorized personnel has access to it. To the extent staffers with access to the overall files don’t have authorization to view PHI, you must either remove or redact the PHI and store it separately.
Retention: The general retention period for HR records in Ontario is 3, rather than 2 years after employment ends.