Technological developments have made out of hours working from home easier, meaning it has probably become far more common. Whether you and your workplace would advocate a ban on work emails being sent outside of the office and normal hours of work will no doubt be a controversial topic.
Whatever your views, employers would do well to remember that there are rules on rest periods that should be observed. By way of a reminder, a worker in entitled to:
- an uninterrupted 20 minute rest break if they work more than 6 hours;
- daily rest of 11 uninterrupted hours in every 24 hour period; plus
- weekly rest of 24 uninterrupted hours in every 7 day period (or, alternatively, one uninterrupted 48 hour rest period in every 14 day period).
In addition to this, their average working time should not exceed 48 hours per week (unless they have validly opted out of this limit).
Whether the work is undertaken in the office or at home or whether it is within normal office hours or not, it all counts.
"Employees physically leave the office, but they do not leave their work. They remain attached by a kind of electronic leash - like a dog. The texts, the messages, the emails - they colonise the life of the individual to the point where he or she eventually breaks down."