News Article

latest news in employment law

eSigning Employment Agreements

Published 06 Feb 2018

While traditionally people have put pen to paper for signing employment agreements and other business documents, a growth in technology has allowed for this to become modernised and the use of electronic signatures is becoming more popular with businesses as they move into a paperless environment.

An electronic signature is defined as "a method used to identify a person and indicate that person’s approval of that information" and while electronic transactions have been around for some time, the Electronic Transaction Act 2002 has now been consolidated into the Contract and Commercial Law Act 2017 (CCLA). Part 4 of the CCLA has modernised the language used in the Electronic Transaction Act 2002 and outlines the legal requirements that must be met when using electronic transactions and electronic signatures.

In order for the use of an electronic signature to be legally binding it must satisfy the requirements of the CCLA, these requirements are:

  • The other party consents to receiving an electronic signature;
  • The electronic signature adequately identifies the signatory;
  • It indicates the signatory’s approval of the agreement terms and their intention to be legally bound; and
  • Be appropriate and reliable given the circumstances in which the signature is required.
Further support is given by the CCLA to determine what makes a signature presumably reliable. It is presumed that a signature is reliable if:
  • The means of creating the electronic signature is linked to the signatory and no other person;
  • The means of creating the electronic signature was under the control of the signatory and no other person;
  • The purpose of the signature is to provide assurance to the integrity of the information to which it relates; and
  • Any alteration made to the electronic signature (or information) made after the time of signing is detectable.

eSigning Capability now in the Employers Toolbox

All this functionality is now available in your Employers Toolbox account automatically. This has been introduced to the Employers Toolbox to ensure that all the legal requirements are met and you can safely offer the option to electronically sign Employment Agreements and other agreements you have in your toolbox.

The e-sign function is available now in your Employers Toolbox account, as well as written help documentation on how to use this new feature, we will also be available on 0800 15 8000 to help with your queries.