2 min read

The Netherlands: Business Email Retention

The length of time businesses need to keep most documents ranges from four weeks to permanently.

Pay particular attention to employee records and data, as there are various retention periods for different types of these.

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) applies, so you must not keep personal identifiable information longer than is absolutely necessary.

Retention Period Document Type/Related Emails
Permanently Financial statements
10 years Data related to immovable property If you provide electronic, broadcasting or telecommunications services and you operate according to the Mini One Stop Shop (MOSS) scheme, you must keep data for 10 years.
7 years - Agendas and appointment books - Bank statements
- Cash administration (also draft notes) and receipts
- Correspondence
- Contracts, agreements and other arrangements
- Credit and debit accounts
- General accounts
- Interim calculations made
- Invoices received and copies of invoices sent
- Payroll accounts including
- administration of wages
- tax and social security records
- wages earned
- social security withheld
- wage withholding tax
- pay slips
- overtime compensation
- bonuses, expenses
- Purchase and sales records
- Software and data files
- Stock records

You can arrange with the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration to keep other records for shorter periods
5 years Social documents relating to employees, including data on which a dismissal is based, or data related to payment of salary – keep for at least five years after the end of the employment contract
3 years Documents supporting your accounting books and not involving third parties (keep either copies or originals)
2 years maximum The following are documents relating to employees. The GDPR stipulates that personal data must not be kept longer than is necessary for the purposes for which the data were collected or for which they are processed further. The Dutch Data Protection says to keep the following no longer than two years:
- Employment agreement, onboarding documents, such as collection of personal information, and bank account information (2 years after employment ends)
- Reports on performance review meetings, assessment interviews and career counselling
- Administrative absence records (2 years after termination of employment, longer in disputes about labour or sickness benefits)
- Rehabilitation files (2 years after completion of rehabilitation)
- Pension scheme-related documents
4 weeks Data relating to rejected job applicants, including application letters, CVs, references, certificates of good conduct, interview notes, assessments and test results. These can be kept up to 1 year with the agreement of the data subject

Sources: business.gov.nl  houseofcompanies.io  skslegal.pl cms.law


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