Calling or emailing staff after work hours? This does not happen in the in-house world – it’s paradise, right? Who will be the brave in-house counsel to bring this article up at the next law department meeting? For those not so brave, perhaps this article could be accidentally printed in bulk at every printer in the law department.
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.
The newspaper cited official guidelines stating that no staff should be penalized for turning off their cellphone or failing to pick up messages after working hours “to prevent self-exploitation.”