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In the digital era, it is time consuming and not eco – friendly to create dozens of paper documents for the personnel file. However, the possibility to store documents of the employee file in electronic form was established in Bulgaria only two years ago.[1]Specific rules for the type of electronic documents and the requirements for them have been in place since 19 May 2018. They are defined in an Ordinance on the Type and Requirements for the Creation and Storage of Electronic Documents in the Employee's File (the "Ordinance").[2]

Which documents are included in the electronic document storage?

  • documents created by the employer, for example: orders, job descriptions;
  • documents created by the employee, for example: various types of applications, including applications for leave;
  • documents requiring the consent of both the employer and the employee, for example: additional agreements to the labour contract;
  • documents issued by third parties, such as a certified notification from the National Revenue Agency.

Other employment – related documents could also be created and used as digital documents. 

The employee shall be notified about the electronic storage of employment documents:

The employer is obliged to notify the employee that the employer creates and stores electronic documents in the personnel file. The notification order is determined by the Internal Regulations of the company. 

How to create electronic personnel records?

The electronic documents shall be signed by the employee with an electronic signature. The type of employee's electronic signature - ordinary, advanced or qualified - shall be agreed with the employer. If the employer requires employees to use a qualified electronic signature, the costs for the signing mechanism are at the expense of the employer. Documents that are created by the employer shall be signed with a qualified electronic signature.

How are employment-related electronic documents sent?

In the employment contract or other written document, the employer and the employee agree to receive electronic statements. Electronic documents sent by the employee shallbe registered in an electronic system for the creation and storage of electronic documents. The electronic system is an important managing tool. In order to prevent it from manipulation, the Ordinance sets technical requirements for its security. One of the requirements is that when registering documents in the electronic system, the employee shall receive a confirmation of receipt. The confirmation contains details of the registration number, the time and date of receipt.Employer's electronic statements about employee's registered electronic documents shall be served through an electronic registered delivery service. A two-factor authentication mechanism is provided when accessing the electronic system. The cost of building such a digital filing system is at the expense of the employer.

Electronic storage of employment documents 

Documents submitted on paper may be included in the personnel file by scanning.The person, who scans the documents, shallcertify the complete and accurate compliance of the scanned document bya qualified electronic signature. 

The employer shallprovide its employees with uninterrupted and free access to the electronic documentsin the personnel file.The employer is obliged to ensure the maintenance of the electronic document management system in a way that does not allow accidental or illegal destruction of data from it, as well as to prevent unauthorized access to the system. 

Regardless of the possibilities to use electronic documents in the records management, the employer shall not refuse to receive paper documents from employees.[3]

Author,

Denitsa Georgieva

 

[1]In January 2017 - Article 128 (b), para 3 of Labour Code 

[2]Ordinance on the Type and Requirements for the Creation and Storage of Electronic Documents in the Employee's File  (Adopted by Decree of the Council of Ministers No 71 of 10.05.2018, promulgated SG, issue 40 of 15.05.2018, in force since 19.05.2018)

[3]Article 11, para 1 of Ordinance on the Type and Requirements for the Creation and Storage of Electronic Documents in the Employee's File.