Retention Policy





Generally, it is desirable to dispose of unnecessary records as promptly as possible, unless required to be retained longer by this Retention Policy. If a retention period is not covered by the applicable retention schedules in the Retention Policy, follow the guiding principles of keeping fewer records and shorter retention periods (“Privacy by Default”). If you are not the person in charge of a record and you can answer “no” to all of these questions, then you should dispose of the record as soon as practicable after it has fulfilled your purpose:


Does the record have real value as a basis for future decisions?

Would it be difficult or expensive to reassemble the content of a still-needed document?

Is the record evidence of a completed material business transaction?

Does the record support legal action or provide additional information necessary to the complete understanding of a primary document?

Is the record necessary for regulatory compliance, a threatened or pending government investigation or litigation or in order to comply with a legislative requirement?

Is the record normally one requested by tax authorities? Does the document provide substantiation which could prevent the loss of tax deductions?

Is the document necessary to comply with the requirements of government agencies or to conform to EU, Irish, and other requirements for reporting?

Does the record or document provide important research data about the Mercantile Entertainment Group and its products?

Does the document have a historical value, such as providing a unique reflection of significant trends in the development of the Mercantile Entertainment Group?

If the answer is “yes to any of the above questions, make sure that the original record is safe before you dispose of your copy.






Keep records active only if the retention schedule requires it. Otherwise, inactive records should be archived for the required retention period.

Review active files at least once a year for disposal of records, or for archiving, as appropriate.

Post a destruction date on records (or file folders) to facilitate annual file review.

At least once annually dispose of unneeded copies of magazines, trade journals, articles and other publications of general circulation.

If you are not the person in charge of the record, dispose of your copy when you are finished using them, unless they are needed for further reference.

Dispose of duplicate paper copies of records or duplicates retained on disks, USB keys, or other electronic or digital media.

Maintain the privacy and security of records at all times.

Be sure to place records where they can be retrieved efficiently.

Consult the Privacy Compliance Co-ordinator on the retention of any records that you believe may not be covered by the Retention Policy that you believe should be retained for special or unforeseen circumstances (for example, potential litigation, investigation or business needs). The Group may update this Retention Policy to capture such previously uncaptured records in the policy.

When disposing of any records in accordance with the Retention Policy, be sure to dispose of such records properly, in a manner that will not allow the records to be retrieved and reviewed by unauthorised persons.

For records related to a continuous serial transaction or a continuous ongoing project, event or relationship, the applicable retention schedules for such records should be deemed to begin to run from the creation of the most recent such record created for such serial transaction or ongoing project, unless earlier related records no longer serve a business purpose. In any event, as with all records, each record created as part of a serial transaction or ongoing project should be retained for at least the period of time identified on the applicable retention schedule for that type of record.

The Mercantile Entertainment Group may occasionally enter into confidentiality or other agreements with third parties that require it to return or dispose of confidential information provided by the third parties.




Do not destroy any records required to be held by applicable legislation or where legal proceedings are apprehended or threated until the required period or the threat of litigation has expired.

Do not fail to produce or disclose any records, including e-mails or other electronic data, when required to be disclosed by court subpoena or discovery proceedings, or by a data subject data access request under the GDPR.

Do not alter or dispose of any records, including e-mails or other electronic data, which have been required to be disclosed by court subpoena or discovery proceedings, or by a data subject access request under the GDPR.

Except when such records are subject to potential or pending litigation or investigation, do not retain drafts, handwritten notes, calendars, planners, telephone logs or historical files maintained for your own personal use any longer than is reasonably needed.

Do not dispose of records other than in compliance with this Retention Policy.

Do not remove records from The Mercantile Entertainment Group’s locations for storage at home or any other non-company location.

Do not allow access to private or confidential records (specifically including health, financial or other personal data) except to those The Mercantile Entertainment Group personnel and other authorised persons who you specifically know to have a right to such access.






Make sure you are truthful and accurate in what you say

Treat e-mails with the same level of care as other written records

Follow The Mercantile Entertainment Group’s policies in creating records

Keep e-mail and voicemail messages short

Make everything clear and unambiguous. A reader may not have a chance to ask for clarification

Use concrete terms and facts objectively so that the reader will have a clearer idea of your meaning

Consider the appropriateness of expressing information in person rather than in writing or by voicemail

Proofread what you plan to send

Be prepared to explain the implications of words used in e-mails and voicemails




Do not include confidential information unless essential.

Do not put something in a document that you would not want to see printed on the front page of the newspaper, or have read in a courtroom.

Do not be too informal or emotional - anything that you say in an e-mail or voicemail can easily be passed on to someone else

Do not send a document when person-to-person communication serves your purposes better.

Do not use insincere praise or make promises that cannot be honoured

Do not act illegally or make statements that violate the law

Do not overstate – a single overstatement can diminish your entire document

Do not write false and malicious statements

Do not create documents, especially e-mails, as a vehicle for “venting” about an issue.




“Records” include e-mails and other electronically and digitally stored information. This includes business-related information that may be stored in digital and electronic form. The below is a non-exhaustive list to illustrate the wide range of storage being discussed:


Desktop personal computers

CD’s, Flash Drives, Zip disks and other portable drives

Network drives

Cloud based services

Home computers

Laptop computers

Internet backup files

Smart phones and tablets

E-mail services

Program files

Hard drives


Digital cameras

Backup tapes

Central processing units (CPUs)


Because it is one of the primary means of communication in business, e-mail has great value. E-mail messages, however, often sent too hastily, without the level of thought and consideration that typically accompanies formal letters or memoranda. The Mercantile Entertainment Group’s employees should avoid using e-mail to communicate partial thoughts, incomplete ideas or messages that may be ambiguous and that may be misinterpreted by a reader. E-mail is not conversation, and often will be read by others in addition to the original addressees. Person-to-person communication is recommended for “brainstorming” or “thinking-out-loud” sessions.


When responding to e-mails, try to avoid the “Reply All” tool, instead limiting your reply to only those who really need to receive it. Otherwise, a single “Reply All” message may create numerous unnecessary non-custodial records. In addition, careless use of the Reply All function can send an email to recipients who really should not be privy to your reply.


Business records created, sent and received in electronic form (e-mails) should be printed and filed in the appropriate filing system just like any other business record and in accordance with the Retention Policy – this is particularly true of those in charge of original or primary records. Each employee has a responsibility to make sure that existing computer personal folders, whether in outlook and on your PC or file server, are reviewed and records deleted that have been superseded or are no longer required to be kept by the Retention Policy. Routine e-mails will be deleted 7 years after they are last edited. This applies to e-mails in all folders within the mailbox, including, Outbox, Sent Items, Inbox and all sub-folders.




All voicemail should be deleted after the message has been heard.








Record Type Category

Retention Period


Start of Retention Period



Books of Accounts

Varies, but generally 6 years from the end of the accounting period originally recorded in, so up to 7 years.


Generally, date of creation of record

Often held for 7 years

Payroll and salary records

Minimum 6 years or such shorter period as the Revenue Commissioners may authorise in writing


From the end of the year to which such records reflect

Often held for 7 years

Working time records

3 years


From the date of the leave

Often held for 4 years

Parental leave/force majeure records

8 years


From the date of the leave

Often held for 9 years

Employee tax records

7 years


Termination of employment

Often held for 8 years

Employment contract

Duration of employment + 6 years


Date of termination

Often held for 7 years

Record of ID documents of employees. Do not keep copies of passports or driving licences. If required, the last four digits of such documents can be recorded, once The Mercantile Entertainment Group has seen the original and satisfied themselves as to the ID of the employee

Duration of employment + 1 year


Date of termination

Often held for 2 years

Data documents concerning pension schemes





Data of rejected job applicants

1 week


From date of interview/application

Often held for 1-3 months

Reports on employee performance review meetings and assessment interviews (e.g. evaluations, employment application forms of successful applicants, copies of academic and other training received, employment contracts and their amendments, correspondence concerning appointment, appraisals, promotions and demotions, agreements concerning activities in relation to the works council, references and sick leave records)

6 years


From date of creation


List of employees who have worked under dangerous conditions or whose health has otherwise been under threat

Varies: for as long as issue remains. If no issue, hold for no longer than 1 year after employment ends, unless litigation apprehended or threatened


From cessation of issue


Accident reports

6 years


From the date of the accident or dangerous occurrence


General ledger, accounts receivable, accounts payable department, procurement and sales administration, inventory records

6 years from the end of the accounting period originally recorded in, so up to 7 years





Unless specifically saved to a folder – 2 years



Archive after 2 years

Subject access requests

6 years


Access request

To show access request has been met

HR data other than leave or pension documents

Until no longer operationally necessary/ until termination of employment


1-year post archiving/ post termination, whichever is earlier


HR data on pension or leave

Until no longer operationally necessary/ until termination of employment


6 years post termination


Details of unsuccessful candidates

3 months


Archive once outcome of candidature is known


Electronic marketing data – non- customers

1 year


Last point of contract provided target individual originally consented to receiving marketing data


Electronic marketing data – customers

1 year


From last point of contact with customer


Booking data, check-in data, special requests data

For as long as the guest remains a customer



A customer relationship is generally considered terminated form a data protection viewpoint if a transaction has not occurred within the previous year

Financial data and credit card information

For as long as it is necessary to process the transaction, including any queries which may arise.




Loyalty scheme (gift vouchers) information

For as long as the customer/ guest is an active participant in the loyalty scheme



Non-use of the scheme for a year or more, would indicate cessation

Contact information of guest

As long as the guest remains a customer


Typically one from the last transaction


Information provided via tour operators and other 3rd parties. (guest lists etc).

One year from the date of the visit




Details of current registration number, details of driving licence, details of passport

One year from the date of visit




Hotel register data

One year from the date of last nights’ stay




CCTV footage

6 months


From time it was taken