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Can a worker consume alcohol during a localised guard?

There are many jobs in which, due to their own characteristics, the employee must be reachable during the periods of duty that are established by the company, normally, those periods coincide with weekends and holidays, in which most of us We take the opportunity to go out with friends and family, and there is a big question, can the workers on duty consume alcohol?

Adrián Castro Gálvez

Date 24/06/2019

There are many jobs in which, due to their own characteristics, the employee must be reachable during the periods of duty that are established by the company, normally, those periods coincide with weekends and holidays, in which most of us We take the opportunity to go out with friends and family, and there is a big question, can the workers on duty consume alcohol?

Well, this question has been resolved by the National Court in its recent ruling of February 22 of this year. In the prosecuted case, it was a collective dispute filed by RENFE, in which it claimed that the workers assigned to the localisabled guard service (non-volunteers) had to make their driver's license available to the company, Rotary to drive the company's vehicles and also to state the personal reasons if they refuse to do so. The Railway Syndicate opposed since it understood that the measure can violate the privacy of the worker and implied an excessive burden for the worker who has not freely chosen to be included in said service. In particular, this union is opposed to the worker having to make his license available to the company if he is not in psychophysical driving conditions, that is, if he has moderately consumed alcohol or cannabis.

The National Court establishes:

«The fact that while a worker is in a situation of location can not make alcoholic consumption or the consumption of narcotic substances such as hashish or cannabis, even if it is moderate, does not constitute an illegitimate interference in the privacy of the worker protected in art. 18 CE.

On the contrary, it is a manifestation of the duties of diligence and contractual good faith required by art. 5.1 a) ET, which undoubtedly must imply that whoever is voluntarily or forcefully assigned to a localised guard system must avoid situations that prevent it from fulfilling the tasks of the service for which it may eventually be required and that in our case, as it has been exposed can lead to the driving of motor vehicles ».

Consequently, as we can see the National Court denies the possibility of drinking alcoholic beverages during periods of guard, even if it is moderate, since it would constitute a violation of their labour obligations that could even lead to the opening of a disciplinary file to the worker.

From Balms Abogados, we offer comprehensive advice to both companies and workers on all issues arising from the employment relationship, in order to avoid harmful situations for any of the parties.

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