Remote termination of an employment agreement can be done either unilaterally (with or without notice) or by mutual agreement of the parties. A termination agreement is reached if both parties acknowledge the agreement (this includes via videoconference or teleconference). A written form is not required.
However, verbal agreements may be understood differently between employer and employee and (contrary to intentions) bring about conflicts. Therefore, during a video or phone discussion, the employee should receive the termination agreement and confirm by email that he or she enters into the agreement.
In the case of amending agreements, employers should also remember that the amendment should be provided to the employee in writing or by email - with an electronic signature. However, this is only a confirmation of an act that has already been performed.
When sending a termination notice by email, employers should remember to:
- Sign it with a qualified electronic signature. Such signature is affixed using a special device which can be purchased from one of five vendors. The procedure for obtaining the signature lasts from several to a dozen or so days.
- Grant appropriate power of attorney (if the termination notice is signed by an attorney-in-fact).
- Collect proof of delivery of the termination notice. If the notice is sent via email, an employer should choose the options for 'Request a delivery receipt' and 'Request a read receipt'. In the event of a dispute, such receipts will constitute evidence. It is also worth phoning the employee to confirm that the email has been received.
Each remote dismissal must be carefully planned. During a telephone or video call, different unpredictable situations may occur (for example, the employee may hang up). The caller needs to know how to behave in different situations.
Originally published 07 May 2020
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.