4. 3. 2024

Hiring and Firing Electronically

The Labour Code now (as of October 2023) expressly allows electronic contracting and delivery of documents. But as employment law aims to protect the rights of employees, this principle is also reflected in electronic procedures. Employers must be careful to comply with statutory conditions when using electronic contracting and delivery. Let's take a look at the key principles that must be followed.

I. Electronic conclusion of contracts and agreements

The Labour Code now explicitly sets out the rules for delivery of the following documents when concluded electronically

  • employment agreement

  • agreement on the performance of work

  • agreement on work activity

including their amendment or termination by agreement of both parties. 

This clearly indicates that the aforementioned documents can also be concluded electronically, which was unclear until now. These documents can now be signed via email or a suitable HR signing system. 

New rules

In order for a contract to be concluded, the parties must consent to its final wording. Consent is generally expressed by signing. For electronic methods, a so-called simple electronic signature, such as a signature in the footer of an email, will now be sufficient. 

Additionally, it is essential to send the final version of the concluded contract to the e-mail address, which the employee has provided in writing to the employer for these purposes. Without this step, the contract is not valid. If an employer decides to use electronic contracting, we recommend that certain internal procedures are put in place and that the relevant documentation is prepared. We also recommend that all communication is frequently backed up.

For the sake of completeness, it should be added that the employee has the right to withdraw from the electronic agreement within 7 days from its conclusion. However, the employee may only withdraw before they have started to work. 

II. Electronic delivery in employment law

Regarding the delivery of documents, which must normally be delivered in person (e.g. termination documents, etc.), fundamental changes have been made. 

Delivery via data box

First of all, if the employer sends the documents via an official data box, the employee's consent is not required anymore. The data box must permit private messages. 

The document is delivered when the employee has logged into the data box.  If the employee does not sign into the data box within 10 days from when the document was sent to the data box, then the document is deemed delivered the day after this period. 

Delivery via e-mail

For e-mail delivery, the situation is a bit more complicated. The obligation to send an e-mail containing these documents with a certified electronic signature has been retained. In addition, the employee must consent to this method of delivery in a separate written statement that also includes an e-mail for delivery that is not controlled by the employer, i.e. a private e-mail address. The employee may withdraw this consent at any time. Before giving the above consent, the employer is obliged to inform the employee in writing of the conditions for the delivery of documents

A document regarded as delivered when the employee confirms its delivery to the employer by e-mail (now it is no longer necessary for the employee to sign the message with a certified electronic signature) or within 15 days from the date of delivery. 

Here, however, we see a certain risk in proving whether and exactly at what time the electronic message containing the document was actually delivered to the employee. The employee may argue that the message ended up in his spam folder or was not delivered at all. Employers should remain very cautious when it comes to this method of delivery.

By Mgr. Dagmar Junková

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G&P Newsletter 1/2024 (PDF)

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Mgr. Dagmar Junková

Mgr. Dagmar Junková

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