German labor ministry bans after-hours email from managers to employees

The German labor ministry has banned managers from calling or emailing employees outside of working hours as a means of preventing "self-exploitation," wherein workers end up putting in hours while they're off the clock. This follows on from voluntary bans enacted by major German companies like Volkswagen and Deutsche Telekom. Managers can contact employees after hours only under "exceptional circumstances."

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  1. xzzy says:

    Seems like an odd requirement. Do employers in Germany habitually collect the personal email addresses of employees? Because that's the only way I'd ever get an after hours email from my boss.. as soon as I clock out I'm not checking my work email until the next morning.

    Pages, well that's another matter. But those come with the territory.

  2. KarlS says:

    The article is horribly ambiguous, but this applies only to their own employees, not all employers.

  3. I sometimes email coworkers outside business hours. I understand that they might not respond until the next work day; I just want to get it in their queue. If I were subject to this rule, I'd want the ability to compose the message at my convenience and have it delivered automatically when business hours resume.

    I don't mind getting messages during off hours. That might be partly because my boss doesn't seem to expect a response right away. But I also think of it as the flip side of my own freedom to do online shopping or (ahem) post to BoingBoing during business hours. It isn't as black-and-white as it was in the factory days.

  4. mikea says:

    Germany?
    It's the law IN CALIFORNIA in the good ol' USA.
    California labor laws aimed at tech firms demanding unpaid overtime mandate that workers must be paid for evry work hour, even for answering an email or logging in off hours, or before the start of workday or during lunch.

  5. ha ha ha oh, April Fools, so funny. no, CA bosses email around the clock, and work their employees like dogs laws? ha. I know a contract employee who is paid for 8 hrs/day, working 12

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