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Answering work emails after hours begins to pay

Published: 3:49PM Friday January 13, 2012 Source: ONE News

  •  (Source: Wiki Commons)
    Source: Wiki Commons

A fightback has begun against the annoying but growing trend of answering work emails by smartphone after hours.

Having a smartphone means 24/7 connectivity - both a blessing and a curse - with many people responding to company emails while on the bus ride home, out at dinner or watching television with the family.

But a new law in Brazil means workers who answer work emails on their smartphones after hours now qualify for overtime.

The new piece of legislation, approved by President Dilma Rousseff last month, states that company emails to employees are now seen as direct orders.

The law may set a precedent for other countries, as the issue of over-connectivity spreads globally.

Last May, Chicago policeman Jeffrey Allen asked the city for overtime compensation and filed a class action suit.

A French IT company called Atos then announced it would stop sending company emails to its workers by 2013.

This was followed by German carmaker Volkswagen's plan to switch off BlackBerry emails after hours. Similar moves have also come from Deutsche Telekom and Henkel.

The number of mobile subscribers in Brazil exceeded 210.5 million in August last year, despite the country's population being only 195 million.

Should you qualify for overtime if you answer an email after work hours? Have your say on the messageboard below.

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  • baylee1997 said on 2012-01-14 @ 06:55 NZDT: Report abusive post

    If you are expected to answer emails or calls, then you should be on a set roster and paid. Lots of people do them at night to ease pressure during the next day - that is their choice, and need not necessarily be paid.

  • repeat said on 2012-01-13 @ 21:26 NZDT: Report abusive post

    If an employee spends time during work hours attending to private emails, facebook, etc., then fair enough that they give something back during "their" time. Fair for both sides is the only way it can work.

  • cpw7975 said on 2012-01-13 @ 18:11 NZDT: Report abusive post

    If you are expected to answer calls and texts after hours, then you should be paid for that time. If youre not expected to answer them and you don't want to answer them, switch the phone off.

  • cpw7975 said on 2012-01-13 @ 18:11 NZDT: Report abusive post

    If you are expected to answer calls and texts after hours, then you should be paid for that time. If youre not expected to answer them and you don't want to answer them, switch the phone off.

  • NZ girl said on 2012-01-13 @ 16:47 NZDT: Report abusive post

    most certainly not. If employees choose to work from home then that should be offset by the number of hours an employer expects them to be in the office. Further if employees have to do additional work at home for extended periods of time then their jobs are either not set up right, or they are not right for their jobs.

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