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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
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Can my employer force me to lock up my cellphone

Resolved Question:

Can my employer force me to lock up my cellphone at the start of my shift? Warehouse, I stuck in toilet ( broken lock) nobody hear me, and i call to manager to help me out, maybe im wrong but cellphone in my pocket is helpful in case of emergency

Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
Ben Jones : Hello, my name is ***** ***** it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. Is there a policy on that in the workplace?
Customer:

I dont know, but they wants give us new contracts in the next weeks and i think they wants put there that changes

Ben Jones :

It is possible for an employer to have a policy, even if it is not written down, where they require employees not to have personal phones whilst they are working. It is not a legal right to have your phone on you at all times and if necessary the employer can be strict in this respect. It would vary from one company to another and I would say that generally such rules apply mainly to workplaces where the presence of a phone could affect equipment, distract employees, or provide a bad image if clients see you using one but in general it can be applied anywhere. The fact that you locked yourself in a toilet is an unfortunate event but not something which is an obvious risk in your workplace and something which the employer needs to ensure you have means of contacting someone. It is a one off incident so they cannot be blamed for not allowing you to have a phone on you – it is obviously something which could have happened to anyone at any time but not something which is an obvious risk against which precautions must be taken, all it takes is for the lock to be fixed to prevent this from occurring again, it would not justify requesting the employer to allow you to keep your phone on you. So unless there are obvious risks in the workplace where an emergency could arise, for example if you worked alone in remote areas, there would be no real need to allow you to have phones on you and if necessary the employer could have s policy where they require its staff to ensure they do no0t take them with them when they are working.

Hope this clarifies your position? If you could please let me know that would be great, thank you

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