The Law on Electronic Document implies that the electronic document is created by using one of the available information and communication technologies and that its validity, power of evidence, and written form cannot be disputed just because it is in electronic form. This way, when it comes to validity, the power of evidence, and written form, the Law equates electronic document with the handwritten document.
This applies only to the electronic document that is signed with the qualified electronic signature, and not with just any electronic signature.
The main principle of the Law on Obligations concerning the form in which the contracts must be concluded implies that the conclusion of an agreement is not subject to any form unless otherwise provided by the Law.
It is clear that there are legal issues for which the Law requires a specific form, so there is no way you can conclude them by using an electronic signature. For example, when buying an apartment, we cannot expect to replace going to the notary public and signing the agreement by hand with signing this agreement electronically.
On the other hand, for many years, there have been jobs in Serbia that are executed exclusively by electronic signature. An example of this is the submission of regular financial reports to the BRA.
However, the field of employment law is not that precisely regulated when it comes to electronic signatures, so there are still some open questions regarding the signing of:
- Employment agreements,
- Outside employment agreements (e.g., Agreements of temporary and occasional jobs),
- All documents required during employment (e.g., Decision on annual leave),
- Documents that are necessary upon the termination of employment (e.g., the Decision on termination of the employment agreement).
Lawyers specialized in the field of labor & employment law daily face the questions of employers who, in their pursuit to modernize their business and deprive it of bureaucracy, are curious to find out whether these documents can be signed electronically, whether the electronically signed documents are valid, as well as what are the legal consequences and risks of electronically signing the documents.