Digital signatures in signing labor contracts

Digital signatures are to reduce the cost of printing and paperwork while also facilitating engagement from anywhere and at any time. As a result, digital signatures have become a very familiar tool for businesses when performing administrative procedures such as tax declaration, electronic customs, etc. Furthermore, digital signatures can be used by businesses to sign labor contracts with their employees. 

Through this article, BLawyers Vietnam would like to provide some notes underneath.

1. What is an electronic labor contract?

Labor Code 2019 has governed provisions regarding electronic labor contract. Accordingly, in addition to text and speech, the labor contract can also be expressed in the form of electronic data messages. Their value remains as the written labor contracts.

The electronic labor contract can be defined as follows:

  1. is an agreement between the employer and the employee regarding employment, the rights and obligations of each party in the labor relation;
  2. the content of the labor contract is created, sent, received, and stored using one of the electronic means such as telephone, fax, Internet, etc. to establish labor relation; and
  3. signed by the electronic signatures of the contracting parties.

In which electronic signatures can be created in the form of words, letters, numbers, symbols, sounds, or other forms by electronic means. In fact, parties in the labor contract can use the electronic signature in one of three common ways: digital signature, photo signature, scanning signature.

As a result, employers can use digital signatures to sign labor contracts with their employees. To ensure the validity of electronic labor contracts signed by digital signatures, users should be aware of the legal value of digital signatures.

2. Legal validity of a digital signature

A digital signature is a form of electronic signature. A digital signature must meet the following conditions:

  1. The digital signature is created during the validity period of digital certificates and is verified using the public key recorded on such valid digital certificates;
  2. The digital signature is created by using the private key corresponding to the public key recorded on digital certificates issued by one of the competent organizations providing digital signature authentication services; and
  3. The private key is only under the control of the signer at the time of signing.

3. Employers’ obligations when using digital signatures in labor contracts

Employers have the following obligations:

  1. Taking measures to avoid the unauthorized use of their digital signature creating data.
  2. Promptly using appropriate means to notify the parties accepting the electronic signature and to the organization providing the e-signature certification service in case the electronic signature is certified when discovering that electronic signatures may no longer be under their control; and
  3. Applying necessary measures to ensure the accuracy and integrity of all information in the e-certificate if the e-certificate is used to authenticate the electronic signature.

4. Employees’ obligations when receiving digitally signed labor contracts

Employees have the following obligations:

  1. Taking necessary measures to verify the reliability of an electronic signature before accepting it; and
  2. Taking necessary measures to verify the legal validity of e-certificates and restrictions related to e-certificates in case such e-certificate is used to certify the electronic signature.

To summarize, electronic labor contracts are gradually replacing traditional-form labor contracts. As a result, electronic signatures are becoming more popular because they can assist parties in signing the labor contract at the appropriate time in circumstances where traditional-form signatures are not possible. Therefore, holding the obligations when using digital signatures in the labor contracts will help both the employees and the employers to ensure the validity of the labor contract that they sign.

Should you have any questions about the above contents, please revert to BLawyers Vietnam at consult@blawyersvn.com. We are more than happy to hear from you!

Date: 10 February 2022

Writer: Linh Nguyen

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