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Everything you need to know about digitally signing employment contracts

Trends in the labor market and how HR departments keep up

The labor market has changed drastically in recent years. The remote way of working has been growing exponentially for years, and therefore HR departments and recruiters need to follow the dynamics with advanced technological solutions.

Digital signing of employment contracts facilitates the recruitment process for both companies and their employees. Despite progress in digitalization of HR department and recruiter processes, paper documentation is still the most common form of implementation of tasks related to employment and employees. We therefore reveal to you what prerequisites need to be met for digitally signing an employment contract, but also what advantages it brings to companies and employees.

Prerequisites for digitally signing employment contracts

As of July 1, 2016, the European regulation eIDAS defined the legal framework for digital signatures and gave them the same importance as handwritten signatures. The signature is legally valid and cannot be challenged. According to the Croatian labor law, it is valid that the contract was concluded electronically when the parties agreed on the essential ingredients, whereby the use of electronic signatures when concluding the contract is governed by special regulations.

Types of electronic signatures

Simple electronic signatures

Any signature in digital form (e.g. the specified signature in an email). It is not possible to use such signatures when working with public or state online services, and such signatures cannot prove the identity of the signatory beyond doubt.

Advanced electronic signature

It fulfills the following requirements: • it is undoubtedly related to the signatory; • enables identification of signatories; • is created using data for creating an electronic signature that the signer can, with a high level of confidence, use under his sole control and • is linked to the data signed by him in such a way that any subsequent modification of the data can be detected. Advanced electronic signatures can be safely used to sign online contracts, letters, e-mails or other digital documents, and as such are valid in court proceedings as proof that a certain person signed a certain document.

Qualified electronic signature

It is legally equivalent to a handwritten signature. It was created using qualified means for creating electronic signatures and is based on a qualified certificate for electronic signatures. An employment contract concluded in electronic form, signed with a qualified electronic signature created using a qualified certificate, and in accordance with the eIDAS provision fulfills the written form requirement from Article 14 of the Labor Act. In other words, an employment contract signed with a qualified electronic signature is equivalent to a paper form signed by hand.

Why sign employment contracts digitally?

HR departments and recruiters are increasingly using digital signatures in employment contracts or their annexes. Here are just some of the advantages it brings them:

Legally secured remote signing

The employee can instantly sign the contract regardless of where he is, and the digital signature can also be used as evidence in court. Considering today’s trends in work habits and the large number of employees who perform their business duties from the home office, remote signing of employment contracts and annexes gives freedom and greatly saves time when implementing HR and recruiting processes.

Simple and economical

Simplified creation, signing and storage of documents, while spending less time and reducing the costs required for document printing and archiving.


Reduced paper consumption leads to responsible social behavior in the context of sustainable development.

Digital transformation encompasses all spheres of business, and human resources management is certainly one of the most important factors in the successful digital evolution of a company. We are in an extremely dynamic period in the context of human resources. The way of working has changed, but in accordance with this, the adjustment of the recruitment process, i.e. all activities carried out by human resources departments, is necessary. Only in this way is it possible to remain competitive and attractive on the labor market.

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