After-hours emails, texts could be problematic for employers

Specific policies should clarify employer expectations, conditions
By Sarah Dobson
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 03/26/2012

Alan Hall confesses he is “perhaps a worst offender” when it comes to responding to work issues on his BlackBerry after hours. The reverend, who is executive officer of ministry and employment at the United Church of Canada, said it’s often easier to deal with something at 6 a.m. or 11 p.m. instead of waiting to get to the office. That “bleeding” between work and personal life can happen quite easily, especially with a large volunteer base, he said.

“You’re working weekends, you’re working evenings, you’re coming in on holidays to accommodate a volunteer-based advisory group.”

But staff are encouraged to work regular office hours and the organization is increasingly strict about overtime having to be approved in advance, said Hall, who is based in Toronto.