At Shred On Site, many of our clients are required by law to keep or destroy private information and confidential documents within certain timeframes. Compliant document destruction is an issue that has to be dealt with by corporations, charities, employers and professionals such as doctors and lawyers who, by the nature of their work, have their clients’ private and confidential information kept on paper documents.
You will probably need to consult a lawyer in order to confirm your responsibilities under Australian law and, if applicable, the appropriate rules for your business or profession. However, here are some examples of organisations that are affected by regulations that dictate if, when and how they destroy documents.
Corporations are subject to a number of reporting and record-keeping requirements under Australian law. Whether they are publicly or privately held, small businesses or multinational giants, they must be compliant with a whole raft of rules and regulations concerning document storage and destruction. Most of these rules are aimed at greater transparency and require that records be retained for minimum periods of time before compliant document destruction.
For example, corporations must hold their financial records for at least seven years. This includes records of income and expenditures, as well as accounting records that show profits and performance. In addition, corporations are required to keep board and general meeting minutes and registers of board members, option holders and charges for at least seven years. All of these records must be in a form that can be readily understood and audited. For more information, consult Australia’s Corporations Act, 2001.
When the records are no longer relevant or legally required, then the best option for compliant secure document destruction is shredding on site.
Those with careers in charitable organisations tend to be overworked and underpaid, so the paperwork that’s required by law can be a real challenge. Of course, it does make sense that in order to maintain a tax-exempt status, it is necessary to keep close track of activities and finances. That’s why, like corporations, charities are subject to legal requirements concerning compliant document retention.
For charities, these issues are addressed in the Australian Charities and Not for Profit Commission Act, 2012. Fortunately, the rules are fairly simple; you must keep all of your operational and financial records for at least seven years. After that, they must be disposed of in a compliant document destruction method like shredding on-site.
Employers’ personnel records must be retained for a minimum amount of time under Australia’s Fair Work Act, 2009 and Victoria’s Occupational Health and Safety Act, 2004. Keep your employee records available and easily accessible for at least seven years after the termination of employment, and keep records of health and safety incidents for at least five years. After the minimum time has passed, our mobile shredding service can make your archive box clean out quick, secure, effective and compliant by shredding all your paper on site.
Those Affected By the Privacy Act, 1988
Unlike the legal requirements cited above, Australia’s Privacy Act, 1988 requires the compliant destruction of documents, not their preservation. The requirements in the Act can’t be easily summarised here, but they require public sector and some private sector organisations to dispose of personal information pertaining to customers or clients when it is no longer needed. Who is subject to the Privacy Act’s requirements? Governmental organisations are affected, of course. So are businesses and charities with an annual turnover greater than three million dollars. Most health care organisations and information brokers are also included.
This only scratches the surface of the Privacy Act and the other laws and regulations that can affect how long you need to keep records and when you will need compliant document destruction. When your legal or financial advisors confirm that it’s time to dispose of private documents, then Shredding On Site can provide the secure, effective and affordable service you need.