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Electronic versions of employee documentation and electronic form

Since January 2019, employers may keep their employees’ records in electronic versions. However, labour law regulations do not define the concept of electronic version. Nonetheless, certain guidelines are to be found in the provisions of the Labour Code and the regulation dated 10 December 2018 of the Minister of the Family, Labour and Social Policy on employee documentation specifying the requirements related to changing the version of employee documentation from paper to electronic.

They state that a change of employee documentation from paper to electronic takes place by making digital copies, in particular scans, and providing them with qualified electronic seals or qualified electronic signatures of the employer, or a person authorized by the employer, confirming that the digital images are true copies of the paper documents. They also include regulations on requirements that the IT system must meet in order for it to store employee records in electronic versions. Therefore, it would seem that electronic version should mean digitally recorded data/information.

Nevertheless, electronic version of employee documentation should not be confused with electronic form. The conditions for ensuring a legal action’s electronic form are specified in the provisions of Article 78(1) §1 of the Civil Code. To fulfil it, it is sufficient to submit a declaration of intent in electronic version and affix it with a qualified electronic signature that meets the requirements of Regulation (EU) No. 910/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 July 2014 on electronic identification and trust services for electronic transactions in the internal market and repealing Directive 1999/93/EC. The conclusion of an employment contract in electronic form, or electronically, is an issue we have covered in our In Principle portal.

Katarzyna Żukowska