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The digitalisation of employment relationships, from necessity to reality

In recent times, there has been talk of the digitization of labor relations, a step more than necessary given the current situation.

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In recent times, there has been talk of the digitization of labor relations, a step more than necessary given the current situation. After a draft law that stipulated the intention to digitize employment relations, the law was also turned into “light”, namely the emergency ordinance no. 36 of 05.05.2021, which completed Law no. 53/2003 – Labor Code.

What does the ordinance provide for digitization?

  • At the conclusion of the individual contract of employment/contract annexes, the parties may choose to use the advanced electronic signature or qualified electronic signature, accompanied by the qualified electronic time stamp or electronic time stamp and the qualified electronic seal of the employer (in this case, the parties will have to use the same type of signature, i.e. handwritten signature or electronic signature, in the performance of the individual employment contract;
  • the employer may use this electronic signature to draw up all documents in the field of employment relations with the employee, but also in relation to public institutions, for drawing up documents in the field of employment relations/safety and health at work;
  • documents in the field of electronically signed employment relationships shall be archived by the employer in accordance with the legal provisions on the archiving of documents and shall be made available to the competent supervisory bodies;
  • the written form of the documents shall also be deemed to have been completed if the document is made out in electronic form and is signed with an advanced electronic signature or qualified electronic signature, accompanied by an electronic time stamp or qualified electronic time stamp and the qualified electronic seal of the employer;
  • the employer shall be obliged to inform the person selected for employment or the employee of the procedures relating to the use of the electronic signature;
  • the employer may not oblige the person selected for employment or the employee to use the electronic signature, but may pay for the purchase of electronic signatures.

The decree also introduces new elements and also new elements of the telework, so that the decree also makes additions to the law no. 81/2018 on the regulation of telework activity, but also on the law no. 319/2006 on safety and health at work.

What does this decree provide for the telework?

  • the condition of having a minimum of one day per month in which the teleworker performs his duties in a place other than the place of employment organized by the employer has been repealed;
  • the employer shall have the right to check the work of teleworker by using information and communication technology;
  • the obligation to specify the location of the telework activity in the individual employment contract has been repealed;
  • the employer shall be required to ensure that teleworker shall receive training in the field of safety and health at work, in particular in the form of information and working instructions concerning the use of display-screen equipment;
  • the teleworker shall be required to observe and ensure the confidentiality of information and documents used in the course of the telework activity (this obligation shall also be incumbent on the domestic employee);
  • proof of training in safety and health at work may be provided in electronic or paper form as required by the rules of procedure (in case of use of the version in electronic form, the evidence of training must be signed with the electronic signature).

While the digitization of employment relationships is necessary, the provisions of this order concerning electronic signature appear to be rather heavy, costly and time-consuming for implementation. So we are waiting for the methodological norms for greater clarity, rules that should appear within 60 days of the above-mentioned legislative act entering into force.