Electronic signature for employment contracts
In Colombia, it is legally valid to use the electronic signature for employment contracts, and thus formalize the relationship between employer and employee. Previously, we have exposed what is the legality of using the electronic signature, and the eDelivery in Colombia, and now we will delve into its use in labor relations, and how it can help to simplify internal processes in the company.
Labor contracts are regulated in Colombia under the Substantive Labor Code, which gives the parties freedom of form under Article 37, stating that “the employment contract can be verbal or written; for its validity does not require any special form, unless expressly provided otherwise“. The fact that there is freedom of form gives rise to be able to use new technologies, such as electronic signatures, in order to formalize an employment contract.
Written employment contracts
By going to Article 39 whose title is “Written Contract”, you can verify the formalities that must be fulfilled for an employment contract in its written format to be valid, and a written format must be understood as one that appears on paper or in an electronic document. To this end, it is declared that a written contract must be “exempt from taxes on sealed paper and national stamps and must necessarily contain, apart from the clauses that the parties freely agree, the following: the identification and domicile of the parties; the place and date of its celebration; the place where the worker has been hired and where he has to provide the service; the nature of the work; The amount of the remuneration, its form and periods of payment; the estimation of their value, in case there are room and food supplies as part of the salary; and the duration of the contract, its eviction and termination ”. As we can verify, the extremes that must exist for a written employment contract to be valid are detailed, and among them, there is no allusion to the way in which these contracts must be signed.
The aforementioned article by not making any allusion to the way in which it must be signed, or which instrument of ratification must be used for signing, gives freedom to be able to use the electronic signature for employment contracts.
On the other hand, it is important to cite Article 45 of the Substantive Labor Code that talks about the duration of an employment contract by establishing that “the employment contract can be held for a specified time, for the duration of the performance of a work or labor determined, for an indefinite time or to carry out occasional, accidental or transitory work ”. This means that the electronic signature can be used for any type of employment contract.
The previously described freedom must be understood under the terms of the Colombian Civil Code, which includes contractual freedom or party autonomy. Article 1502 stipulates that for a person to commit to another by an act or declaration of will, it is necessary “to be legally capable; that you consent to said act or declaration and your consent does not suffer from vice; that falls on a lawful object; and that it has a lawful cause”.
That is, contracts and obligations between parties must meet these requirements, leaving the rest to the will of the parties. For the Leypal tool to be valid as a means of ratifying an employment contract, the parties must freely consent to its use, without there being a vice of consent, understanding these as “error, force or fraud”, and that the contract in question to have as a purpose a lawful object. In this case, the employment contract must comply with the legality imposed by the Substantive Labor Code, to understand that the employment contract has a lawful purpose.
Benefits of using the electronic signature
Now that we know that the electronic signature for employment contracts is a valid instrument, we must establish the benefits of using this type of tool in hiring processes, specifically the electronic signature for employment contracts. In addition, being an instrument that allows you to formalize a contract remotely, it is a tool that helps reduce costs, not only because of the possible savings in terms of the use of paper or messaging, but also because of the time savings involved in managing a signature in person, and on paper; when using an electronic signature, this process can be completed in less than a minute.
On the other hand, in the case of employment contracts, all the documents that an employee must sign to be able to join the company and start to provide their services are subject to being ratified by electronic signature. The most important is undoubtedly the signing of the employment contract, but you can also sign confidentiality agreements, occupational risk policies, equipment loans, etc. In a single sending, all the documents necessary to formalize the relationship between the employer and the employee can be signed.
An additional benefit of using the Leypal platform is its document management. Users will always have access to all signed documentation, and customers can search and download them. It is not necessary to resort to paper, and its arrangement in physical folders, since everything could be accessible in the cloud, and with the arrangement that the user needs.
In the workplace, this tool can be used to make formal notifications to employees, for example, to impose a disciplinary sanction, make changes to working conditions, or even to terminate employment relationships. The eDelivery collects all the evidences of sending and receiving, making it a means of notification at any time and from anywhere. Again, we would be looking at a tool that allows companies to save time and money.