Human Resource Records

Statement of intent

The University of Waterloo will collect and retain only the personal information of an employee which is necessary to the proper administration of the University and its academic and other programs, the administration of the employee’s benefits and compensation, or is required by legislative requirements imposed by federal or provincial authority (Statistics Canada, Canada Employment and Immigration Commission, etc.).

Security of personal information

Personal information is maintained on a database which is managed by the Human Resources Department. Pertinent data necessary for appropriate deductions and legal remittances are also shared with Payroll. The database is accessible only to members of the Human Resources Department by double password and key locked terminals. The system work of the Human Resources Department is contained within a computer network which is not accessible to outside users.

Type of information

Records of employees hired as part-time, casual, or temporary are minimal and contain address, social insurance number, income tax designation, and other related employment information. A comprehensive data set is maintained on each regular full- and regular part-time employee and on any employee whose appointment is accompanied by benefits coverage. The type of information kept is provided by the employee at the time of hire and subsequently throughout her/his career at the University of Waterloo. Typical data retained for each employee which might be considered sensitive are:

  • Address
  • Beneficiaries
  • Salary Classification
  • Performance Ratings
  • Date of Birth
  • Disciplinary letters
  • Letters of Reference
  • Marital Status
  • Garnishee or Court Orders
  • Employment Equity Data
  • Medications
  • Medical conditions
  • Sick Leave or Long Term
  • Disability information
  • Social Insurance Number

Use of information

There are four main users of personal information that is retained in the Human Resources Department:

  • The Human Resources Department, which uses the information to administer the benefits plans, maintain salaries and job classifications, seniority and employment records throughout an individual’s career, and report to the appropriate government body the required statistical information on an aggregate basis. Human Resources also uses personal information to counsel managers on appropriate management actions as well as to counsel staff and faculty on their benefits, rights and privileges within the University.
  • The department Head or designate, who uses personal information concerning employment records to help in managing and guiding an individual’s career. Information about start dates, salaries, performance ratings, job classifications, etc. is provided to the manager or designate. Personal information about an individual’s health, beneficiaries, medication, employment equity status, etc., is not provided without the express permission of the individual concerned.
  • The Employee, who requests personal information to be forwarded to banks, trusts companies, physicians, insurance companies or other outside agencies. This information often concerns the employee’s years of service and annual salary.
  • External agencies and federal and provincial governments request and/or require personal information on employees. External agencies are generally the University’s insurance carriers, Revenue Canada, Worker’s Compensation, Canada Employment and Immigration Commission, etc., which require personal information in order for employees to access their services. This information is given with the permission of the employee only. Federal and provincial governments may require information in the aggregate concerning salaries, employment equity designations, years of service, etc. Information may be required by various courts or legal agencies (e.g., Human Rights Commission, Pay Equity Commission, Provincial Courts, RCMP).

Access to employee human resources records

  1. Employees may view any information contained in their Human Resources file. The file, however, is the property and responsibility of the University and may not be removed or have any part of it removed without the approval of the Associate Provost, Human Resources.
  2. An employee may ask to have information corrected or removed from the file or, if this is not possible, may place a statement of disagreement attached to the information reflecting any correction that was requested but not made.
  3. An employee may identify information that he/she wishes be disclosed to a specified individual or agency.
  4. An employee may authorize another individual to make inquires concerning personal information on his/her behalf. As well, an employee who is incapacitated can designate next of kin or a legal representative to access the personal information from his/her employee Human Resources record.

Denial of access to personal employee information

Employees will be denied access to personal information in the following situations:

  • When the disclosure of medical information could reasonably be expected to prejudice the mental and physical health of the individual. This would be determined by the University physician in consultation with the employee’s physician.
  • If information is evaluative or opinion material compiled solely to determine qualification for employment, the awarding of a contract with the University, peer review processes related to determination of tenure, promotion, research grants or other benefits to members of the University community, determining eligibility or admission to an academic program of the University and for the purpose of determining eligibility for the awarding of a scholarship, bursary, or other form of financial assistance.
  • Where disclosure would constitute an unjustified invasion of another individual’s personal privacy.

Disclosure of personal information

The University of Waterloo shall not disclose personal information in its custody or under its control except in the following circumstances:

  • Where the person to whom the information relates has identified that information and has consented to its disclosure.
  • To an officer or employee of the University who needs the information in the performance of his or her duty.
  • To a federal or provincial governmental authority.
  • To an institution or law enforcement agency in Canada to aid in an investigation undertaken with a view of law enforcement proceeding or from which a law enforcement proceeding may result.
  • Where disclosure is necessary to aid in the investigation of allegations that individuals have made false statements or engaged in other misleading conduct concerning their attendance, performance, or status within or completion of an academic program or specific employment situation.
  • In compassionate circumstances, to facilitate contact with the next of kin or a friend of an individual who is ill, injured, or deceased.
  • To a person who has been authorized by the employee to whom the information relates to make an inquiry on that employee’s behalf, or to a person whom an employee has identified as next of kin or legal representative if the employee is incapacitated.

Retention of records

The University retains the employment records of employees for eight years following their termination from the University.