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19 January 2024

What is a Personnel File? How to Prepare a Personnel File?

Author Civan Güneş, Kerem Akdağ, Category Work Life

What is a Personnel File? How to Prepare a Personnel File?

    In business life, the organization and functioning of the relations between the employer and the employee are subject to certain rules within the framework of the Labor Law. The personnel file, which is a part of these rules, is a critical tool to protect the rights of the employer and employee, to ensure compliance with legal regulations and to manage labor relations in an orderly manner.

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    • What is a personnel file?
    • Who prepares the personnel file?
    • How is the personnel file prepared?
    • What is the retention period for personnel files?
    • What is the penalty for not keeping a personnel file?
    • What are the documents that should be in the personnel file?

    We have answered your questions for you.

    What is a Personnel File?

    Personnel file it is a file consisting of official documents in which all kinds of documents, information and documents obtained throughout the employee's career are recorded in an organized manner, starting from the recruitment phase. In Article 75 of the Labor Law No. 4857, the information on the personnel file is as follows: "The employer shall organize a personnel file for each employee he employs. In this file, the employer is obliged to keep the identity information of the employee, as well as all kinds of documents and records that he is obliged to organize in accordance with this Law and other laws, and to show them to authorized officers and authorities upon request. The employer is obliged to use the information obtained about the employee in accordance with the rules of honesty and the law and not to disclose information that the employee has a legitimate interest in keeping confidential."

    The purpose of the personnel file is to record a wide range of information, from the employee's identity information to performance evaluations, salary information and health status.

    Organizations require certain documents to be submitted to them from each new employee. These documents may differ between organizations. While a simple health report may be sufficient for some organizations, others may require a detailed health examination.

    Who Prepares the Personnel File?

    The personnel file is usually prepared and managed by the Human Resources (HR) department of companies. The human resources department is responsible for keeping track of the personal and professional information of employees in a company on a regular basis. However, what is important is not who prepares the personnel file; it is that the information and documents to be included in the personnel files are complete, stored confidentially and securely, and managed in accordance with legal regulations.

    How to Prepare a Personnel File?

    There is no format requirement set out in the Law for the preparation of personnel files. Companies may prepare their personnel files within the framework of a system determined by themselves.

    The personnel file is a record that must be kept separately for each employee. First of all, the first thing to be considered is that the documents requested from the employee have been submitted in full. If the documents are completed, the procedures to be carried out in the ongoing process are as follows:

    • Separate folders are created for each department and the employee's name and surname are written in the title of the folders.
    • A list of documents to be added to the personnel file is drawn up and the lists are followed in the same order for each employee to prevent confusion.
    • A control and follow-up schedule is prepared for the documents to be added to the folders added to the file. With this schedule, it can be determined which documents should be added to the file in case of employment and resignation.

    Even if the personnel file is tracked digitally, it must be submitted in hard copy (physical) form in case of an audit. A copy of the relevant file must be kept physically and with wet signature.

    How Long is the Retention Period for the Personnel File?

    Regarding the retention of personnel files, the retention periods may vary according to the records and documents in the file. The Law on Obligations and the Social Security and General Health Insurance Law No. 5510 stipulate a retention period of 10 years from the date of issuance of the documents, while the records and documents within the scope of the Occupational Health and Safety Law No. 6331 stipulate a retention period ranging from 15 to 40 years.

    What is the Penalty for Not Keeping a Personnel File?

    Businesses are obliged to keep personnel files containing information about their employees as stated in the Law. Article 104 of the Labor Law stipulates that "An administrative fine of one thousand two hundred Turkish liras shall be imposed on the employer or the employer's representative who fails to organize the employee personnel files stipulated in Article 75 and to comply with the provisions of the regulation stipulated in Article 76." The penalty for not organizing the employee personnel file has been determined as 14,740 TRY as of 2024.

    What are the Documents that should be in the Personnel File?

    Although the documents that should be included in the personnel file may vary according to the field of activity of the organization, they generally consist of the following:

    • Certificate of Residence
    • Population Registration Sample
    • Photocopy of Identity Card
    • Passport Photo
    • Labor / Service Contract
    • Diploma Photocopy
    • Health Report
    • Job Application Form
    • Criminal Record
    • Military Service Status Certificate for Men
    • Photocopy of Marriage Certificate of Married Employee
    • Photocopy of Identity Card of the Spouse and Children, if any, of the Married Employee
    • SSI Work Entry Notification

    What are the Documents that Should be in the Personnel File in Special Cases?

    The documents that should be included in the personnel file may vary in some special cases. These special cases are listed below:

    • Incentive certificates used
    • Disability report in case of disability
    • Parental consent for workers under 18 years of age
    • Work permit for foreign nationals
    • İŞKUR application registration certificate for ex-convicts, victims of terrorism or disabled persons

    What are the Files Required to be in the Employee's Personal File During the Working Period?

    In the personnel file, the documents provided by the employee at the time of employment and the documents to be added to the file during the period of employment must be up to date. The documents that must be in the employee's file during the working period are as follows:

    • Types of leave such as annual leave, unpaid leave, compassionate leave, etc.
    • Minutes kept about the employee, incident detection forms, defense of the employee and warnings given
    • Petitions for maternity leave and breastfeeding leave
    • Signed payslips / wage slips
    • Rest and incapacity reports
    • If there is a wage deduction penalty, documents showing the reason
    • Salary increase, promotion and transfer notifications
    • Performance evaluation forms
    • Documents informing workers about occupational health and safety risks, necessary precautions, legal rights and responsibilities
    • Work accident report
    • Document showing the consent of the employee to be temporarily transferred to another workplace
    • Petition of the woman who gave birth for 6 months unpaid leave
    • All official correspondence about the employee

    What are the Documents that should be in the Personnel File in Case of Resignation?

    The documents that should be in the employee's personnel file in case the employee leaves the job are listed below:

    • SSI Resignation Notification
    • Resignation Petition
    • Release Form
    • Termination Notice
    • Payrolls for Severance and Notice Compensation
    • Proven Documents in Case of Justified Termination
    • Notary Notification
    • Notice

    Innovative Approach to Human Resources: CottGroup's Personnel File Solutions

    CottGroup®, as an organization offering corporate solutions, provides an effective and reliable service in personnel file management. It allows you to make your human resources processes more efficient with its archive management service where employee personnel files can be securely stored in physical and digital environments. CottGroup's personnel file management solutions include advanced technologies to securely store, monitor and report employee information, while fully complying with KVKK compliance and security standards. Thanks to the modern and user-friendly Informasoft® Human Resources Management System, you will be able to organize, store and update your personnel files and manage your employee data in an organized manner.

    Should you have any queries or need further details, please contact us.


    Contents provided in this article serve to informative purpose only. The article is confidential and property of CottGroup® and all of its affiliated legal entities. Quoting any of the contents without credit being given to the source is strictly prohibited. Regardless of having all the precautions and importance put in the preparation of this article, CottGroup® and its member companies cannot be held liable of the application or interpretation of the information provided. It is strictly advised to consult a professional for the application of the above-mentioned subject.

    For each concrete situation, it is strongly advised to seek guidance from a professional advisor. If you are a customer of ours, please consult with your customer representative before taking any action related to the announcement. If you are not a customer, seek advice from an expert.

    About The Author

    Civan Güneş

    Digital Marketing Specialist

    Kerem Akdağ

    Business Development & Marketing Consultant

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