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Boss ordered to compensate worker for texting him after office hours

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Although Hong Kong is not going to introduce after-hours email legislation like France did anytime soon, bosses might still want to think twice before texting staff after office hours.

Apple Daily reports that a factory worker in New Taipei, northern Taiwan, was awarded HK$650 in overtime pay, after showing a local arbitration council LINE conversations with his former boss.

The worker was made redundant last year, and feeling upset about losing his job he decided to seek overtime compensation from his boss.

The worker claimed that he should be compensated for replying to LINE text messages from the boss after office hours. The boss disagreed and decided to go for arbitration.

The worker told a local arbitration council that the boss texted him regularly after working hours and on weekends, instructing him to inform fellow workers of their upcoming work schedule.

The boss refused to acknowledge the worker was doing overtime work, as he considered the requests simple matters that can be taken care of in a few minutes.

The arbitration council agreed the worker was carrying out duties as instructed by the boss after office hours. It ruled in favour of the worker, and stated that every text message accounts for one minute of overtime work.

After reviewing the LINE dialogue provided by the worker, the council ruled that the worker did 358 minutes of overtime work during weekdays and 1007 minutes on weekends. The boss was ordered to pay 2598 New Taiwan dollar (HK$650) in overtime compensation to the worker.

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