E-mails After Work Hours Translates to Overtime Pay in Brazil
Answering e-mail from an employer after the workday ends qualifies for overtime pay in Brazil, as employers learn to manage the new mobile workplace.
Legislation in Brazil asserts company e-mails to workers equal direct orders from employers, according to the Associated Press reports. Labor attorneys say this makes it possible for workers answering e-mails after hours to ask for overtime pay.
The worker-friendly policy became part of the country's labor code after approval by Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff last month, and marks the latest measure to address the implications of an increasingly mobile workforce around the globe.
German companies like Volkswagen, in response to employees' growing connection to their mobile devices, are turning off after-hour e-mails to give workers a break.
The automaker, in an agreement with labor representatives, agreed to only allow their staff to receive e-mails starting a half-hour before work begins until half-hour after they finish, putting them in blackout mode the rest of the time to help establish a better work-life balance. The new rule only covers union workers, but not company board-level executives.
Telecommunications provider Deutsche Telekom also encourages workers to turn off their devices. The parent company of T-Mobile last year introduced a policy to reduce after-hours device messaging and promised management would not routinely call workers or expect them to read e-mails after hours.
Other companies and countries are likely to continue to adopt similar measures in light of the expanding array of working functions smartphones manage. People are increasingly addicted to checking their smartphones, accessing them throughout the day, according to a report in the journal "Personal and Ubiquitous Computing."
Without rules such as Volkswagen's, workers may not understand how to separate work from play, putting them, in essence, on call 24-hours a day, a trend that could lead to worker burnout.
In Germany, labor representatives blame burnout for about 10 million sick days nationally a year, providing an incentive for employers to limit the amount of time employees spend responding to e-mails on weekends and during vacations.
Right now, Brazilian workers may be the envy of the working world, but as more companies move to alleviate tired workers to increase productivity, others may follow suit.
Not really, in fact, they're far from being the envies. The payment / hour there is utter derp.
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