Legal precedence of electronic acceptance of contracts is not uncommon in Australia. The Commonwealth legislation governing the practice is referred to as The Electronic Transactions Acts 1999 and provides for the same degree of legal status for an electronic acceptance when compared to a traditionally executed contract; in writing. These may be known as an electronic signatures (or eSignatures).
The Electronic Transactions Acts 1999 also provides protection that a transaction would not be invalid just because it was conducted electronically.
States and Territories of Australia have also developed their own electronic transactions legislation that generally covers similar topics to that found in Commonwealth legislation.
You can find links to the Commonwealth and state legislation later in the article.
How Simon deals with electronic acceptance of employment contracts
To conform with large parts of electronic transactions legislation, Simon has satisfied the following requirements:
- We have developed a way to identify the person
- The way we have developed our electronic signature capability and identification protocol is appropriate in the circumstances
- The person who needs to electronically sign their contract consents to doing so using an electronic method
How Simon deals with identifying the person and their intent
When an Employer uses Simon to create an Employee profile, we send the Employee and email and SMS message with details on how they can login to Simon
We do not share with them their password, but rather we send them a shared secret. A shared secret is something that the Employee knows about themselves and something an Employee would reasonably expect an Employer to know about them. In most cases, the default shared secret is the Employee’s mobile number.
To login to the platform, an Employee would need to know their username (sent by email and SMS) and the answer to the shared secret. Finally, we notify the employee that by using the platform, they agree to transacting with the platform online.
How the electronic signatures method is reliable and appropriate
Simon is a cloud based application hosted in Australia by Amazon Web Services. Our application is fault tolerant, redundant and secure. More information about our application architecture and commitment to information security is available on our website.
Links to additional resources and more information about electronic signatures
Electronic Transactions Act 1999 (Commonwealth)
Australian Capital Territory
New South Wales
The contents within this publication are provided to you and have not been legally reviewed. You should not rely on any of the contents of this publication as a legally sound deliverable. It is strongly recommended you have the contents of this publication reviewed by your legal representative, prior to relying on the contents whether in whole or in part.