Skip to comments.Germany bans managers from calling or emailing staff after work hours
Posted on 03/31/2014 12:58:29 PM PDT by MNDude
Germany's labor ministry has banned managers from calling or emailing staff out of hours except in emergencies. The ministry says the measure is intended to prevent staff from suffering undue stress by being constantly on call.
Daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung reported Friday that the ministry is following the lead of major German companies such as automaker Volkswagen and Deutsche Telekom.
Lol! Where’s my passport...
The off switch is your friend.
It wouldn’t work in my little corner of the IT biz. Fortunately for me, if the Boss does call...it’s an emergency or about to become something we can spend five minutes fixing now or five hours fixing in the morning.
I got news for you. This goes on in America too. I am a manager in my company and I am not allowed to contact any employee after 5PM unless I am willing to pay them overtime.
In this glowBull economy, how is this going to work with a German manager contacting workers in the US, India, Austrailia?
When we go to a one-world-govt, will we go to a one-world-time-zone as well?
I’m on the fence for this one. On 1 hand, stuff needs to get fixed right away. There are emergencies so you need ot be contacted. On the other, a rude boss can call you for minor reasons after hours making you feel like you never leave work.
Lets just let the business decide huh government?
Wow, real nanny state. A company I worked for gave us all Blackberries and we were on call 24/7. If the alarm went off there as a 20 person call list. Whoever answered would have to drive, some of them an hour or more, to the plant and let the cops in. Amazingly, it always cycled through all 20 and ended up with the president. They all claimed to be out of range. But I knew they did what I did and shut the damned thing off at night. OH, the the best part? There was no extra pay and no time off for the inconvenience.
Cue in the Freepers to tell us all how the Germans are such hard workers. (snort, chuckle....)
Manager telefonisch oder per E-Mail Mitarbeiter nach der Arbeit verbieten
What if you have auto-foward on (like you want your message forwarded to your secretary while you’re out of town, then you have to turn it off?
What if a manager wants to wish someone a happy birthday, they can’t do that?
It’s not often that I’m reading the news about my industry after hours, and forward it on to everyone on my team. Forwarding news articles would be prohibited as well?
As someone else mentioned, what if that employee is working remote in a different time zone and has different work hours?
Seems like it’s more from the usual “Work is a pain in the ass” crowd.
One of our clients, a railroad, has asked us to restrict ourselves from calling their maintenance personnel directly, as they may be in their government-mandated rest period at any given time. This can happen when they’ve had to work overtime and their rest period extends into the next normal working hours.
Instead, we are asked to contact their supervisor, who can advise whether the employee is actually working at that time.
Those hours of service laws are a pain, but they are so very necessary to help protect the railroads - and the employees themselves - from accidents that are caused/contributed to by lack of adequate rest.
As a repair contractor, I had to threaten to dump a customer who kept calling me to set up routine appointments and to discuss routine business after work hours and on weekends, once he figured out that I worked out of my home and answered my telephone 24 hours a day.
I told him that I answered the phone after hours and on weekends in case someone had an emergency call, and that he needed to make his routine calls during business hours and quit bothering me when I was off work.
He was always a mild acting, passive-aggressive kind of guy, and was clearly doing it as some kind of power trip, I had to tell him to stop doing it, or find another contractor.
My wife has a company provided cell phone that she has to keep with her. She doesn’t mind, it’s one of the conditions of employment in her position.
I am sometimes required to be on call (without pay) over the weekends. If I get called and have to work I get paid, which is fine, but I get no calls (and no pay) most times despite being tethered to the phone all weekend. That doesn’t seem fair to me.
This crap has been going on for years. When I was working for a Fortune 50 company 10 years+ ago, it was common to exchange email over nights and weekends, especailly as we were supposed to be “part of a global management team”. Except, the EUro-based members of said team got special dispensation to ignore anything outside working hours, due to the same kind of thinking put forth here. You’d be accused of “not thinking globally” if you didn’t involve them, or catch hell for being slow to respond if you waited until they were finished sipping wine and noshing on brie.
And heaven help you if you ever so much as think about shutting down a factory or office in Europe. There’ll be a walk-out the next day and you’ll be paying them a lifetime annuity even if you do it.
That's my gripe too. I'll live with the on call part but I should get something for my inconvenience.
“That’s my gripe too. I’ll live with the on call part but I should get something for my inconvenience. “
I’d have loved to be #1 on the list if they simply paid for my time. But they didn’t. The phone, which I never used, was my pay.
There was a drafter, an ex-cop who lived five minutes away. He’d had a phone and was happy to let the cops in. (The false alarms ran several a week and the system wasn’t fixed because they didn’t own the building and were planning on moving.) During an economy move, they took his phone away. So he said, “fluck them.” and wouldn’t take the duty anymore. So, the president who lived 2 hours away always ended up driving in. He was always p@ssed about it but nothing ever changed while I was there.
Huh? You want to get paid for the inconvenience of having a phone by your side?
I was just watching a BBC documentary about the history of the German and British auto industry, and they mentioned a Germany car company that had been doing that already.
Why do they need to make it a law is beyond me.
I have one of those bosses that thinks I am on call @ $9/hour. If he calls me, it’s an automatic 15 minutes (my rule) which only equals $2.25, but I am home on my time and he needs to learn to do things himself.
They aren’t so much harder workers more than they are incredibly devoted to their work, and are very committed to doing a quality job. That’s been a part of the German psyche for decades.
Idiotic. This is the equivalent of being forbidden to put something on their desk after 5 p.m. Nothing requires them to immediately respond to e-mail sent after they’ve gone home. I like returning phone calls and responding to e-mail after hours. Many of the people whom I write or return calls to are in different time zones anyway.
Ich bin ein Bannedmailer
Just don't call me while I'm at the brauhaus.................
Ich bin ein verboten e-Mailer.
“Huh? You want to get paid for the inconvenience of having a phone by your side?”
Ever get a phone call while you’re on the toilet? Do you have to bring a phone into the bathroom to shower? When you’re involved in anti-fraud efforts that is exactly what you end up doing (to allow financial institutuions to reach you when questionable items are presented for payment - often in person in a branch).
I’ll drink to that! I think this is the reason Americans are so much more productive. There time “away from work” is being on call and expected to work after hours and on weekends—without extra pay. Such has been the case with the last three companies where I have worked the past 3 decades.
I believe there was a court ruling a few years ago where it was found that by expecting employees to react to these communications 24/7 it was the same as never being off the clock. Some guys got awarded a whole buttload of back pay....perhaps enough to put that company out of business.
Don’t call us, we’ll call you (maybe!).
In city of my employer, my employer gets fined if alarms go off for no reason (usually an employee working on a weekend hasn’t set it correctly).
Oh, yeah. All my life my bosses have called me off-hours on my birthday. Yeah, happens every year. I jump with delight when I see his name on my phone!
I find it interesting that the Germans are also ready to send/mobilize troops to reinforce NATO. Are these troops to have the same kind of rules? Wouldn’t want them to be overly stressed, would we?
Wow. Just, wow. We have already turned into an Idiocracy.
It's not like all I have to do is answer the phone. I really can't go to the beach, a ballgame or much else if I have to be available to work at any moment.
Dude said he gets paid if he gets called and has to work.
In your scenario, I assume you are salaried. If that is the terms of your job, so be it.
I get paid well to support people and solve problems. Sometimes that isn’t 9-5 eastern.
Uh, being on call usually means that you have to be within range of handling whatever the emergency is (i.e., no trips out of town for the weekend). It also means the possibility of being interrupted while at a move, the opera, a concert, or important family dinner. You risk doing those things but usually do not mind if you are getting paid for it, albeit a very small percentage of your regular hourly pay. Most places, if you have to take call, you get your on-call pay and then get regular (or OT if you’re lucky) if you are actually called in and have to take care of something.
“In your scenario, I assume you are salaried. If that is the terms of your job, so be it.”
It wasn’t; it “evolved” into that. I’ve told my children cell phones and laptops are great because you can be reached or work anywhere, and that at the same time they are horrible because you can be reached or work anywhere...
While the potential is great, don’t ignore the job losses we’ve suffered as a result of this wonderful technology.
Some of us ‘accidentally’ loaded the batteries in our pagers backwards. This in the mid 90’s.
Our group wasn’t an ‘on call’ group and didn’t qualify for the ‘on call’ 100% bonus pool. And yet, nearly every weekend we’d get at least one ‘all hands on deck’ page.
_____ that. You want on call service? Pay us the 100% bonus pool on call money.
That was my first take!!
Chuck the digital leash....
I need to find that court case, because they started this crap with me a year ago. I’ll put up with it for a couple more years and then sue them and retire if it’s true :)
“Yes,I was paid for it...as these Germans can be paid for off hours contacting.”
Too many people I know aren’t compensated at all; it has just become “expected” (in the same way 9 to 5 jobs became 8:30 to 5 jobs). It just became an uncompensated drop in quality of life.
“_____ that. You want on call service? Pay us the 100% bonus pool on call money.”
As long as I got paid, I was okay with unlimited OT. I didn’t even care that most of the time it was at 50% lower than the normal pay rate, as most professionals don’t get OT. But when I was there I was working 100% for the company. I had very little down time. If they made us work extra it was because somebody had done some p*ss poor management. As one employee said, “Failure to plan on their part is not an emergency on my part.”
Back in my early days, there is no way I could have advanced in my trade, without my supervisor calling me. No email in the 60s. I worked nights and he would call two or three times a week after I got home, mostly to chew me out for screwing up but I learned how to run that press. Nobody could piss me off like he could, BUT today 45 years later, I consider him my best friend and still a mentor.
Let’s just say that we were all employed there. Briefly. Turnover was horrendous because of the on call not on call on call policy. We were hired with an expectation of 40-50hr work week and were paid base accordingly. Then once hired we found out that management ‘expected’ us to work 70hr+. Marriages and famlies take a hit with those hours. And the non on call bonus pay didn’t make it worth it. At all.
It became a choice of marriage or job. I chose the marriage. Had I known I would get paid non-call pay and work 70+hrs a week I’d have taken the job just across the street (Avenue of the Americas) that paid REAL on call money for on call time. As it was, ‘we’ decided when I was looking for work that ‘he’ would be the 70+hr guy and I would be the ‘stay at home regular job’ wife. We once went 6 whole weeks w/o seeing each other aside from a sleeping body. Yes, I know people do that all the time. We were newlyweds and were NOT expecting that however.
There was a Carol Burnett Tim Conway skit. They were a couple working alternate shifts. He gets home and she gets up and they move through an intricate choreographed bit with no dialog. Finally, she leaves and he settles down to sleep. Hes been laying down for a minute when the door opens, she pokes her nose in and says the first line of dialog. Oh, by the way, Im pregnant. He considers this for a long beat and then says, No way. It was hysterical.
I can remember when Macy’s sent their employees home with merchandise to be delivered to customers who lived near their homes. A judge made the retailer pay them to for that trick. Put a stop to it. There is evil in capitalism and slavery was the ultimate. Don’t think anything has changed.