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Downtime from work, employers infringing?

Discussion in 'Serious' started by StingLikeABee, 11 May 2016.

  1. StingLikeABee

    StingLikeABee What's a Dremel?

    17 Nov 2010
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    Just been reading the news on the Beeb site. Came across this article:


    It tells the story of the French government voting on giving employees the right to "disconnect" from work emails, either receiving or sending. I think it raises a valid point.

    I worked for a web agency some years ago and the workload was unbelievable. We were expected to work at our desks and continue with dealing with calls and emails whilst on our "breaks". We were also expected to take out of hours calls and emails from clients, for which we were not paid or even thanked. The company was breaking working regulations with the expectation that we would work during our breaks but I don't think they were breaking any regulations on their expectation that we deal with comms out of hours.

    I think the issue of being permanently connected in today's digital world is presenting issues like this, there does seem to be employers who are willing to take advantage of that with employees being the ones who suffer.
  2. Risky

    Risky Modder

    10 Sep 2001
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    I think the obvious probelm is that if you have some employees that want to disconnect then others have to cover their calls/call-outs, and I'm not sure how that would work out in a team.

    To be honest I've always preferred to be called at home or on holiday to sort something out quickly rather than it turn in to a mess by the time I got back.
  3. fix-the-spade

    fix-the-spade Multimodder

    4 Jul 2011
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    You organise who is and isn't on out of hours between yourselves and make sure the weekends get spread around. You also have a clear definition of what is and isn't call worthy.

    I had this when I started my current job in 2014. Getting 25+ calls a week from my boss, when I'm only there part time. After three weeks or so I blocked the number, there was an argument, I didn't unblock them. Somebody not being able to find the order number for an order that's still two weeks out does not constitute an ermergency, it can wait until 9am, it's probably on the system where it's meant to be and no I'm not talking you through it from the gym/trail/kitchen table.

    A huge percentage of middle managers seem to use the phone as a mask to hide their disorganisation. Their self inflicted problem is now your Hi X can you just...

    That person is now my ex-boss (and got the push from his next job, Opticians talk to each other), the current one uses email and only when there's actually a real problem.
  4. RedFlames

    RedFlames ...is not a Belgian football team

    23 Apr 2009
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    When I was last in a full-time job I had an argument [one of many] with my boss about this, and my stance was thus:

    If I'm not in the building I'm not at work and therefore will not do work-related things...
    No, I will not 'quickly do...' anything, for anyone on my [unpaid] breaks... assuming you can find me because I will not be at my desk during them...
    You pay for my presence and abilities for the contracted 8 hours per working day you pay me for, outside of that you can do one...
    My world and life does not revolve around you and/or this job...

    It's the insistence that people be contactable 24/7 and/or willing to drop everything to accommodate their bosses that leads to people having meltdowns... life's too short to be putting up with that ****...
  5. Zoon

    Zoon Hunting Wabbits since the 80s

    12 Mar 2001
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    I work in IT and I've pretty much always had a paid on-call arrangement. When I'm on rota, I take calls and fix them and stay sober. In return they pay me money for doing it and for hours worked.

    When I'm not I rarely check emails, even more rarely answer them, and don't carry the dedicated work phone.

    My boss keeps telling me not to have a personal phone and just use my work one: fine in principle but I like being able to put the work one down and ignore it when I'm not on rota!!
  6. forum_user

    forum_user forum_title

    4 Jan 2012
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    There are two types of jobs:

    No prospects - Attracts people who are in limbo. Attracts people between careers. Attracts people who just want anything to pay bills and have a bit left over. Staff are easily replaced, and generally the turnover of staff may be quite high.

    This kind of job is a you-get-what-you-pay-for. People might be expected to put in the extra work with no return - but why should they?!

    Good prospects - Attracts the career minded. Attracts dedication, loyalty, will-do and can-do attitudes. Staff are more likely to stay with the company longer to build a reputation and CV. Staff turnover is much lower than the no prospects jobs, alaries are much higher, and promotions are a lot more frequent.

    This kind of job is ideally filled by those willing to put in the extra effort to answer calls and emails to advance their prospects and wealth.

    Sometimes it is in our control to turn a job around and make it return the good prospects. Sometimes a great attitude will take a person all the way.

    What might look like a simple admin [insert other easy sounding position] job with no prospects can very easily turn into a senior position at a company. But it takes somebody with something about them to make it work out.
  7. Nexxo

    Nexxo * Prefab Sprout – The King of Rock 'n' Roll

    23 Oct 2001
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    I think it is a good thing, and one example of why I would be cautious about a Brexit. This sort of law is the kind of thing that tends to make it into European law; the EU is still pretty socialist at heart.

    In a Brexit it is also the kind of law that UK employees will be very unlikely to enjoy. UK governments tend to be the opposite of socialist --they embrace a laissez faire free market economics which commodifies the workforce instead of looking after it (which is probably why they never got their heads around how to make the EU work for them; they are used to just leaning back and letting business do its own thing).

    There are a lot of things wrong with the EU but employee rights ain't one of them.
  8. Sp!

    Sp! Minimodder

    6 Dec 2002
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    Having a dedicated work phone helps a lot, My work phone goes to do not disturb 6pm to 8 am and on Friday night gets put on the side in the kitchen and left there (usually with a flat battery) until Sunday when I plug it in and charge it ready for Monday morning. Then it's my choice if happen to be in the house and not busy and I choose to answer calls/ voicemails/ texts or emails when I'm not working. Most of my colleges have my personal number but know only to call it when they really need to.

    One of the joys of being an employee (rather then self employed or a manager etc.) is the ability (right) to disconnect from work evenings or weekends.

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