Business

Can a collective agreement prohibit workers from posting photos and disseminating information about their professional activity?

Can a collective agreement prohibit workers from posting photos and disseminating information about their professional activity?

The collective agreement of the public enterprise (TRAGSA) establishes that workers belonging to the fire prevention service have the obligation to maintain professional secrecy with regard to all information known as a result of the exercise of their professional activity.

BY Lefebvre, 03:30 – 14 June 2021

The AN declares that the precept of the agreement which obliges workers to professional secrecy with regard to all information known as a result of the exercise of their professional activity is proportionate and justified, preventing its dissemination to third parties or on social networks (AN 31 -3-21, EDJ 530849).

The collective agreement of the public enterprise (TRAGSA) establishes that workers belonging to the fire prevention service have the obligation to maintain professional secrecy with regard to all information known as a result of the exercise of their professional activity, concerning the dissemination to third parties or in social networks of information, internal instructions, documentation, messages, images or videos, and without the express permission of the company. Failure to comply with these obligations is penalized as serious misconduct. One of the most representative unions in the company considers that the regulation of the agreement violates the right to freedom of expression and information in the area of ​​the employment contract (ET article 20) and files a collective complaint with the AN.

The AN considers that the regulation of the collective agreement goes beyond the judgment of proportionality. It does not establish an absolute ban, but rather a necessary restriction on the right to freedom of expression and the right to freedom of information. The dissemination to third parties or on social networks of information, internal instructions, documentation, messages, images or videos which are known as a result of the exercise of the professional activity can seriously harm the development normal business activity.

It considers that the duty of confidentiality is a consequence of the service of extinction and prevention of forest fires and of the public dimension that they have in certain aspects of their organization and their activity. However, this obligation does not prevent workers from reporting details or anecdotes related to their work in their accounts, but without using company-owned content and without differentiating between their personal and professional accounts; with particular care and without endangering the independence and prestige of the company.

Lefebvre

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