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Labor law currently allows any document between the employee and the employer to be signed electronically by means of a qualified or advanced signature.Read article
Labor law currently allows any document between the employee and the employer to be signed electronically by means of a qualified or advanced signature.
The two types of technology have different technical characteristics and provide distinct levels of security and legal recognition:
According to OUG nr. 36/2021, work papers can be signed with both advanced and qualified electronic signature. The state grants in the field of labor relations the value of handwritten signature and advanced signatures, but this recognition applies exclusively on Romanian territory.
Advanced signatures shall be issued on the basis of a simple digital certificate and, in order for these advanced signatures to be valid and enforceable, those who use them must be able to demonstrate that the technical way in which they have issued these signatures complies with all four detailed requirements of the eIDAS Regulation:
Advanced electronic signatures can be issued by states or private organizations, and they are not of legal value by default and must be proven.
Qualified electronic signatures are an advanced type of signature, which by the way they are issued (using a qualified certificate and a qualified signature issuing device) implicitly ensures that the four conditions are met both at the time of signature and thereafter. These two additional tools (qualified certificate and qualified signature issuing device) ensure a direct and undeniable link between a person’s real identity and the electronic identity, so that these types of electronic signatures implicitly provide legal value and are considered equivalent to handwritten signatures, further evidence proving this is unnecessary. Qualified signatures are only issued by qualified trust service providers listed in a European register and qualified signatures are recognized as equivalent to handwritten signatures anywhere in the EU.
In short, any qualified signature is advanced, but not any advanced signature is qualified. While, for the qualified signature, its issue implicitly ensures, without any doubt, that it is the signatory who signed the document and no further evidence is required, the same does not apply to the advanced signature, for this type of signature additional proof is required that the advanced signature really belongs to the person appearing as a signatory.
In conclusion, companies should conduct a careful and do a detailed analysis of the two signature technologies, because risks are not equally distributed in terms of security and trust. If, when using qualified signatures, there is a sum of the elements certifying that signature, taken by the supplier of qualified certificates, for advanced ones, additional precautions are needed which firms themselves must take.