Uruguay: El Uso Del Celular Durante El Horario Laboral

Last Updated: 4 May 2017
Article by Maria Cecilia Villa

Hoy en día se puede afirmar que prácticamente todas las personas cuentan con un celular. Si bien inicialmente el celular era únicamente una herramienta de comunicación, a medida que transcurrieron los años, esta herramienta pasó no solo a ser un medio de comunicación sino que brinda varios beneficios o utilidades más. Al mismo tiempo, crecieron las aplicaciones de chats, así como se facilitó el acceso a Internet, con todas las distracciones que ello puede implicar para un trabajador durante su horario de trabajo. Por dicho motivo nos preguntamos ¿el uso del celular durante el horario laboral debería estar permitido o por el contrario debería prohibirse?, ¿Por qué? y finalmente ¿Qué ocurre en los hechos?

- Respecto de los derechos del trabajador y del empleador.

La Constitución Uruguaya protege expresamente el derecho al trabajo, a la privacidad y el secreto de las comunicaciones, los cuales serían inherentes a la calidad humana.

Los artículos 7 y 33 de nuestra Constitución, consagran expresamente el derecho al trabajo. Toda persona puede sin discriminación alguna acceder a un trabajo. Asimismo, los artículos 7, 28, 72 y 332 consagran los derechos de intimidad o privacidad y secreto de las comunicaciones.

Por su parte, si bien el trabajador tiene derecho al trabajo, privacidad y el secreto de las comunicaciones, esto no quiere decir que el empleador no pueda controlar lo que el trabajador hace. El empleador posee la potestad de controlar, fiscalizar y ante eventuales incumplimientos sancionar a sus trabajadores. Este control abarca no solo la forma en que realiza su trabajo el empleado, sino que también la manera en que utiliza las herramientas, recursos y medios disponibles que el empleador confía al trabajador para el cumplimiento del trabajo y su efectivo resultado y rendimiento.

Es importante destacar que la labor de contralor del empleador no solo importa a los efectos de corroborar si el trabajador cumple con sus tareas sino que tiene otras aristas, como lo son la atención al cliente y la propia protección y seguridad del trabajador.

Ahora bien, la potestad de contralor no puede ser ejercida de manera arbitraria o caprichosa, debiendo ceñir su control estrictamente a la relación de trabajo. Es claro entonces que el empleador debe limitar su control a la estricta relación de trabajo y evitar entrometerse en cuestiones personales del trabajador. El problema radica en que la línea divisoria entre la vida personal del trabajador y su trabajo no se divisa claramente, y la carencia de normativa que la delimite dicha división complica aún más la situación.

- ¿Qué ocurre con la utilización del celular en el horario laboral?

Con el transcurso de los años, los celulares no solo se volvieron más accesibles sino que se constató la tecnificación de los mismos en cuanto a que éste ha dejado de ser un medio de comunicación utilizado para hacer llamadas. Hoy en día podemos acceder, entre otras tantas cosas, a chats, redes sociales, páginas de internet y juegos, con solo prender nuestro celular. Los celulares son cada vez más utilizados, y el uso del mismo en ciertas personas se podría catalogar hasta de adictivo, consumiendo un tiempo de uso muy importante..

Es indiscutible que no se puede prohibir al trabajador la tenencia de un celular, pero la pregunta radica en ¿puede el empleador controlar su uso durante la jornada laboral? y en caso afirmativo ¿Cuál sería la manera correcta o la mejor forma de hacerlo?

A la primera pregunta la respuesta es una afirmación categórica. El empleador puede dentro de su potestad de contralor, disponer sobre sus trabajadores controles y limitantes respecto del uso de los celulares durante la jornada laboral.

Según expertos, ha sido comprobado que el uso del celular durante el horario de trabajo puede generar serias dificultades en la calidad y productividad del trabajo así como en la seguridad del trabajador, siendo indiscutible que ante las numerosas prestaciones de los smartphones, las distracciones están al alcance de la mano del trabajador; siendo indispensable disponer controles sobre su uso.

Respecto a la seguridad, así como una persona no puede manejar hablando por teléfono o cruzar una calle enviando mensajes o mirando el celular, el trabajador no debería estar en una industria con el celular, en tanto los riesgos que se corren son considerablemente grandes.

En relación a la productividad, hay indicadores claros para medir la productividad, y estos han demostrado que si un trabajador está con el celular cuando atiende a los clientes, si antes atendía a 100 clientes por día y después pasó a entre 60 y 70 clientes por día, hay altas chances que esto sea producto del uso del celular.

A tales efectos, respecto de la segunda interrogante, corresponde destacar que los medios implementados han sido varios.

Por ejemplo, desde el 2013 ha comenzado a implementarse en varios sectores, mediante acuerdos entre las partes, la inclusión en sus pautas salariales de la prohibición expresa del uso del celular. Ejemplo de esto es el sector naval, y los trabajadores de cafés, bares, pubs, cervecerías, confiterías, reposterías, heladerías artesanales y otras formas de servicios de alimentación y venta de bebidas acordaron un convenio salarial por el que se les prohíbe usar celulares durante la hora de trabajo, y ante cualquier emergencia les ordena utilizar el teléfono del establecimiento comercial.

De igual forma, algunas empresas han incluido en sus reglamentos internos la prohibición del uso del celular en la jornada laboral o en otros casos, un acuerdo bipartito entre empleador y empleado limita su utilización exclusivamente en el tiempo de descanso.

Pese a todos estos intentos, las prestaciones de los celulares actuales, las aplicaciones disponibles y redes sociales, hacen que los acuerdos o reglamentos internos de las empresas no se cumplan al pie de la letra, por lo que algunos sectores se adhirieron a la práctica de incorporar la prohibición del uso del celular en los convenios salariales que rigen para todas las empresas de la misma rama.

De esta forma, es concluyente que el empleador cuenta con ciertas herramientas, las cuales se están utilizando cada vez más, para poder controlar e incluso evitar el uso del celular durante la jornada laboral. Dicho uso puede ser prohibido, sin violentar ningún derecho protegido por la constitución. Por ende, en aquellos casos en los que la prohibición del uso de esta herramienta ha sido regulada, si un trabajador es encontrado usando su celular podrá considerarse dicha acción como una falta laboral y por ende ser pasibles de sanciones por parte del empleador.

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.

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