What’s the Law on Electronic Signatures?

February 18, 2015

What’s the Law on Electronic Signatures?

At People, we’ve introduced a feature that allows your staff to receive and sign company documents – like contracts – electronically. For your business, this means much less paper and much faster administration.

Since launching this feature however, we’ve had a lot of questions such as:

–          Are electronic signatures recognised by law?

–          What sort of regulations are involved?

–          How can you verify that an electronic signature comes from the name it’s signed by?

So here’s a quick explanation on the laws surrounding Electronic Signatures, and on how the software we use complies with these laws.

The Law

Electronic signatures are legally recognised, in accordance with The Electronic Communications Act 2000. According to this Act, Electronic Signatures carry the same legal recognition as that of a pen & paper signature.

According to the legislation, in order for an Electronic Signature to be recognised as valid, it must be:

–          Uniquely Linked to the Signatory

–          Capable of Identifying the Signatory

–          Created Using Methods that the Signatory can Maintain Under Their Sole Control

Our Software

The People HR System provides you with Electronic Signature capabilities. People meets and exceeds all regulations as per the Electronic Communications Act 2000, and meets all of the criteria including:

–          SSL encryption on all pages

–          Detailed audit log for each signature received

–          User identification prior to documents being returned

–          Integrity of each document checked at every stage

–          IP fingerprints for every document

–          Secure document and data storage

–          Email, timestamp and geo-tracking identity verification

In other words, if you are getting company documents electronically signed via your People HR System, you can rest assured that the signatures will carry the same legal recognition as doing it with a pen and paper.

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