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March 17, 2021

Question from Mary-Jo Durrant ([email protected])

Hi Charles
We are moving to offering employment contracts electronically and will have pdf fillable sections. For the signing of the contract does this have to have a witness as this is problematic when doing this process electronically? thanks

Dear Mary-Jo

No, the signing of an employment agreement, whether electronic or in wet ink, is not required in order to be witnessed to be legally binding and enforceable.

Despite this, should you wish to move to a system of electronic signatures, the Electronic Transactions (Victoria) Act 2000 (Vic) (Act) allows electronic transactions in the public and private sectors in Victoria.

The main requirements in the Act to validate electronic and digital signatures used to form a contract are:

·       a reliable method must be used to identify the person signing electronically and indicate that the person intended to communicate the information that is in the document; and

·       the person receiving the electronic signature must consent to the requirements being met by that method.

You can electronically sign a document in a number of ways including signing a PDF on a tablet or smartphone, scanning an image of a person’s wet ink signature or entering a typed name. Alternatively, a digital signature is a type of electronic signature that uses encryption technology to authenticate the person electronically signing.

Kind regards,

Benjamin Mann

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