Companies cannot force workers to provide contact details, court rules

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THE Spanish High Court has declared that employees are not obliged to give their bosses their personal mobile phone numbers or email addresses and cancelled clauses demanding this on work contracts.

The ruling came with regards to a complaint lodged by Comisiones Obreras trades union regarding a telesales company which had included a clause in new contracts demanding workers provided personal contact details ‘voluntarily’ and agreed that communications regarding the contract (including redundancy notices) could be sent by text message or email.

Employment judges from the High Court have decided these clauses are abusive and must be annulled as workers may well feel forced into signing, meaning they are not voluntary at all.

“The workers are the weaker parties here and as the clause is included in the contract by the company when they are about to start a job they may feel they are not free to say no,” the sentence declared.

Although it may well be useful nowadays for companies to have this type of contact detail for their employees, they must be provided entirely voluntarily by the workers and never requested on work contracts as this goes against the Data Protection Act.

“In the past work relationships worked perfectly well without this type of instrument,” a High Court judge concluded.

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