Should we work unpaid? Bet you already do!!!

What time do you start work?

Sounds a silly question but when you think about it what is work?  Do you class checking your emails when you briefly wake when your baby cries?  What about on the daily commute?

I am currently on a train into London and am looking around at the people who just joined the train.  Three people got on and thee first thing they did was get out their laptops.  Another two are reading business related materials on tablets, a couple at checking social media accounts, some are reading papers (proper ones mind you) and yes even me but, it actuality before starting this I was playing cribbage.

So are your work hours between 0800 to 1800 or do you do much more and more importantly were you compensated for that?  Do you get time off in lieu?  Do you get overtime?  Or do you feel that this is something you need to do to beat down the competition?

I remember reading about a situation in Germany where an employee took their employers are no longer insisting on “out-of-hours” work. So now people who have work emails on their phone and were answering calls and replying/writing emails in the middle of the night could get paid for it.  This didn’t cause an outcry of support from the public.  What it did cause was for companies to shut down their email servers overnight.

The guidelines state that ministry staff should not be penalised for switching off their mobiles or failing to pick up messages out of hours.

The move follows similar restrictions on out-of-hours email imposed by German firms including Volkswagen, BMW and Puma.

VW stops forwarding emails to staff from its company servers half an hour after the end of the working day, while other firms have declared that workers are not expected to check email at weekends or in their free time.

The labour ministry’s rules only allow contact if the task cannot be postponed until the next working day. Managers should apply a principle of “minimum intervention” into workers’ free time and keep the number of people whose spare time is disrupted as low as possible.

Perhaps when you next get asked a question about a book you have been meaning to read then you know can realise where you can claim back an extra hour.  Should you write that email on the train to work (which probably won’t be sent till you get to the office, or read till even later)?  Or should you sit back enjoy your morning coffee and read that next chapter of John Grisham, Richard Castle, James Patterson or whomever.

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Business Growth Service closes for business

The Business Growth Service (BGS), which includes the Manufacturing Advisory Service and the Growth Accelerator programme, has closed for new applications as of 30th November.

All existing agreements and anything signed up before 30th November will be honoured until March 2016.

Continue reading Business Growth Service closes for business