Executive awarded €7,500 for having to deal with out-of-hours work emails

She claimed she worked close to 60 hours per week in order to complete the work

Executive awarded €7,500 for having to deal with out-of-hours work emails

Picture by: Jaap Arriens/SIPA USA/PA Images

The Labour Court has awarded €7,500 in compensation to a business development executive for having to deal with out-of-hours work emails.

Gráinne O'Hara, who no longer works at the company, took the action against Kepak Convenience Foods.

In her complaint, she claimed she was required to answer work emails after 5pm - including some which came in up to midnight.

This led to work in excess of 48 hours a week, with the executive claiming she worked close to 60 hours per week in order to complete the work.

The company, meanwhile, insisted that the volume of work "could not have exceeded 48 hours per week".

The court found the company was "aware of the hours the Complainant was working and took no steps to curtail the time she spent working".

It concluded that the complaint was "well-founded" and decided €7,500 was the "appropriate level of compensation".

Employment law expert Richard Grogan says the law is very clear in this area.

Speaking on The Pat Kenny Show, he explained: "You get 11 hours between finishing work and starting the next day - and that's uninterrupted. That should be no emails, no texts.

"If you finish at 10 o'clock at night, you should not be starting work until 9 o'clock in the morning."