Are employment contracts signed electronically enforceable?

Technological evolution is changing how documents are being signed by workers. Human resources departments have been digitized and many work documents such as payrolls, holiday requests, job offers are sent and signed digitally. But the question might arise whether the electronic signature of an employment contract is enforceable. In this post we tell you all the details.

The process of signing an employment contract without using the digital signature involves several steps:

– Contract preparation.

– Printing of two copies of the contract and signature by the legal representative of the company.

– Sending the original document to the employee or meeting to sign the contract and provide the contract.

– Signature and filing of the contract.

This process could be expedited sending a contract for electronic signing.

Is an electronic signature of a working contract enforceable?

In order to answer this question and know it is necessary to consider what the legislation states:

– The form of the contract article 8 of  the Statute of Workers Rights that sets that: the employment contract may be formalized in writing or orally. The same provides when a working contract must be in writing: internship, training, apprenticeship, part-time work contract, remote workers and hiring of workers in Spain from Spanish companies abroad. Therefore, the Statute of Workers Rights regulates the freedom of form when making a working contract.

– Regarding the way of giving consent, it is necessary to analyze the regulation established by the Civil Code:

There are no contracts except when consent, the true object and the cause of the obligation concur.

Consent is manifested by the meeting of the offer and the acceptance upon the thing and the cause which are to constitute the contract.

In the contracts concluded by means of automatic devices, there is consent from the moment the acceptance is manifested.

Contracts shall be binding, whatever the form may be in which they have been entered into, provided the essential conditions required for their validity are present.

In addition, the eIDAS Regulation defines three types of electronic signatures: simple, advanced and qualified. The type of digital signature for an employment contract must be chosen based on the fact that it must unequivocally identify the people who sign and that if a modification of the contract occurs, it is possible to detect it. That is why advanced and qualified electronic signatures are recommended for these cases.

The digital signature of labour contracts allows:


Data encryption.

Time stamping.

These three elements create a technical test attesting the willingness of each issuer to give their consent.

Benefits of digital signature in labour contracts

The use of the electronic signature in labour contracts provides benefits such as:

– It has the same legal validity as the handwritten signature.

– Saves time since the process is faster.

– The signature process can be tracked: who has signed and who has not, when, etc.

– By digitally signing labour contracts, contributes to environmental protection since no travel is necessary (thus saving petrol), and it is not necessary to print the contract (thus saving paper, ink, and printer power).

Electronic signature workflow for employment contracts

The electronic signature workflow of an employment contract with Click & Sign takes the following steps:

– The human resources department sends the contract to be signed by email or SMS to the prospective worker.

– The prospective worker receives an email or SMS with a link to access to a signature page.

-The worker signs the document by entering a code received by SMS.

– The human resources department can download and file the signed contract. Through the Click & Sign API, the electronic signature solution can be integrated within the company’s ERP or CRM.

During this process, the documentary evidence is issued proving that the document has been signed, for example, IPs of the devices that have been used, the email addresses of the signatories or the mobile phone numbers.

As you have seen, the electronic signature of an employment contract can streamline the process and provide a fast and agile experience for both the company and the worker.

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