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Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Should Your Employer Compensate You For Time Spent On Your Blackberry?

It would appear as though the time that employees spend reading and responding to e-mails on Blackberry or other handheld devices is becoming a hot bargaining chip in contract negotiations. "For some people, having a BlackBerry is like: We own you. You are our person, 24 hours, 7 days a week," said Ed Cashman, Public Service Alliance of Canada's regional executive vice-president for the National Capital Region. "Our members are running into situations where they're not compensated properly for having to do work at home." The union, which represents government employees, is planning on putting the topic on the agenda for contract negotiations. One could argue that it's the employee's own addiction with the device that is the problem however "My true belief is it's up to the individual to just say no," says Christopher Higgins, professor at University of Western Ontario's Richard Ivey School of Business. I think it depends on the situation, I'm sometimes compelled to check e-mail or login remotely from home, but it's always a conscious decision that I make depending on the perceived urgency on my part. If and when I do, I generally record the time in my time sheet! The Globe and Mail has more here.