Posted: Wednesday 18 January 2012
Have you ever responded to a work-related e-mail after hours? I am sure for the vast majority of us the answer is yes and a lot of us won't be able to remember the last time we didn't do this. But if I were to ask you how much overtime you claimed for doing so I would get a very different answer….unless, that is, you live in Brazil.
That’s because, as the Associated Press reported, under Brazilian legislation which was approved last month, sending company e-mails to workers is the same as giving workers direct orders. As a result, this means that those workers who pick-up and respond to work-related e-mails outside of working hours are entitled to claim this as overtime.
Although there seems little chance of this sort of thing happening over here, according to an article published on New Zealand based, Stuff’s website, this issue has also arisen in the USA as well as France and Germany.
Although the Brazilian law may seem somewhat surprising, it is certainly thought provoking in so far as it raises questions as to the extent to which workers should be ‘on-call’ after hours, especially given that recent findings suggest workers in the UK are putting in some of the longest unpaid overtime hours in Europe (see my recent blog on this here).
Will a similar law ever be passed in the UK? No chance!