Is it legal for employees to send sick leave to employers through WeChat? On May 1, the “Supreme People’s Court’s Regulations on Evidence of Civil Procedure” came into effect, referring to “electronic data”, including communication information for mobile phone text messages, e-mail, instant messaging, communication groups and other internet application services, etc. WeChat is also included.
If mobile phones have become “new organs” of the human body, WeChat is our “second mouth”. With the continuous development of WeChat functions and application scenarios, it has become more than a social tool.
In many companies, WeChat groups have become “mobile offices” outside the traditional offices. Leaders assigned work tasks, colleagues discussed work progress, employees asked for a leave of absence were all through WeChat. It has become a general trend that no one feels that there is anything wrong. Because most of the time is harmonious, once disputes occur, some problems may surface.
Reasonably, it is feasible to take leave as long as the supervisor agrees. If it doesn’t count for employees to ask for leave on WeChat, can employees pretend to be invisible and turn a blind eye to work tasks assigned by leaders on WeChat?
In essence, WeChat is not fundamentally different from communication tools such as telephone and e-mail and should enjoy the same treatment. Legally, acts like WeChat leave do have some uncertainties, making it difficult for judges.
Li Dongjie, a judge in the Second Division of the Pinggu Court in Beijing, said that in a networked society, the signing, performance, dissolution or termination of labor contracts and the employment management of employers have also become the norm for information recording and exchange through the network (or electronic data).
Li stressed that the evidence of electronic data should be true, complete, and supportive. Such as whether the hardware and software environment of the computer system on which electronic data is generated, stored, and transmitted is complete and reliable. Whether the electronic data are completely stored, transmitted, and extracted, etc. “If the court deems it necessary, it may examine and judge the authenticity of the electronic data through methods such as identification or inspection.”