Cell phones are allowed

Mobile phone ban in the workplace - what can the employer enforce?

The cell phone has become an integral part of everyday life. No matter where, the smartphone is always with you. The useful helper can now do more than just make calls. Messenger, SMS, social networks, navigation and many other things are available through modern phones always within reach. But in addition to reception and battery life, there are other things that must be considered when using cell phones.

In the company, the use of cell phones repeatedly creates a need for discussion. Is the use during the work time allowed? Does the cell phone disturb the other employees or the operations as a whole? May employers issue a ban on cell phones and to what extent does it apply?

In a nutshell: ban on cell phones at work

Is the cell phone generally prohibited at work?

No. The decision as to whether there should be a ban on cell phones in the workplace rests with the employer. However, he cannot normally relate a possible ban to the lunch break.

What are the alternatives?

The employer can lay down special rules for handling cell phones at the workplace in a company agreement instead of issuing a general ban.

What should employers consider when banning cell phones at work?

In order to be able to warn of violations, it is essential to inform employees about the new regulations on cell phones in the workplace. A sample of such an instruction can be found here.

In the following, we clarify the questions on the subject of “mobile phone ban in the workplace” and explain the legal basis that is involved in Labor law on the cell phone ban gives. In addition, we offer a model for the ban on cell phones at the workplace, with which a ban can be communicated by the employer and confirmed by the employee.

Is the cell phone generally forbidden in the workplace?

Carrying and using a cell phone during working hours is essential not generally forbidden. However, the employer can prohibit the cell phone if he sees a reason to do so.

Is the cell phone ban legal under labor law?

Because the employer during working hours authorized to issue instructions it not only determines what is to be worked, but also how. Determinations about the manner can include that the phone must remain in the locker when starting work and not used in the operating rooms may be.

The ban on cell phones cannot be extended to breaks. The employer can determine the work process, but there is no reason to prohibit the cell phone in general during the breaks.

However, the employer must ensure that the employee available in an emergency is. That doesn't have to happen through the smartphone. The company's landline connection can also adequately ensure this.

Ensure the ban on cell phones in the workplace with a company agreement

The easiest way to use personal phones while working meaningful to restrict, is the company agreement.

This can be used effectively Rules for dealing and use of smartphones. After such an agreement has been decided, violations can be warned and noted in the personnel file.

The limits of the mobile phone ban in the workplace

The ban can have a comprehensive effect directly at the workplace. The employer can request that the cell phone is not carried. During the breaks and outside of the operating rooms however, the cell phone cannot be banned.

On the other hand stands the right to free development of the personality and the general Expectation of constant availability.

There are several reasons that can justify a ban on cell phones in the workplace.
  • Loss of working time due to distraction
  • Increased accident risk
  • Danger of industrial espionage
  • Unwanted images on social networks and the associated conflicts between employees
  • Negative effects on the working atmosphere

Mobile phone ban in the workplace: a template

In order to adequately inform the employees, is at least one notice necessary to ban cell phones during working hours. One is even safer written communication to each employee, which is issued together with the statement for remuneration. If then another signed confirmation is requested, the agreement is binding on everyone in writing.

Below is a Pattern for the statement enforce the ban on cell phones at work:

Department / professional title
name of contact person
Employer's address

Name of the employee
Worker's address

Date: xx.yy.zz

Pattern for a ban on cell phones in the workplace

Dear Ms / Mr xyz,

We would like to point out that from zz.yy.xx any use of private telephones (cell phone / smartphone) is no longer permitted during working hours.
This new regulation comes into force because in the past dealing with private telephones was a major distraction that can disrupt the safe and smooth operation of the company.

A violation will lead to the corresponding consequences under labor law, up to and including extraordinary dismissal.

Please sign this letter and send it to the HR department so that it can be properly added to your file.

With best regards

read and noted



Signature of the managing director

signature of the employee

read and noted
signature of the employee

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Mobile phone ban in the workplace - what can the employer enforce?
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