Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Can Your Boss Call Or Message You When You Are On Holiday?

“I know you are on vacation, but can I get hold of you if I need to check on something?” 

Sounds familiar?

Many years ago when I first started working, hand phones are a rarity. They belong only to a privileged few. So if I’m on holiday, I’m on... holiday, literally. No phone calls, no messages. The office can get burnt down for all I care and I won’t be penalized if I got to know it only after my holiday. 

Those days are gone. And I kinda miss it, darn!

With the advancement of technology, the gain is connectivity, the loss is privacy. 

Most of us would agree it can be annoying when your boss called while you are in the middle of sipping your freshly squeezed orange juice on the beach. It’s anti-climax because you want your mind to be transported to another world without your boss stalking you. 

So, is it legal for your boss to even call you?

Let’s be clear about one thing. The Labour Laws do not provide a clause to ban employers from calling their staff during their holiday. At the same time, it does not say you have to answer all calls from your boss regardless whether you are on holiday or not.

So, it’s up to you to work things out. Logically if you are a responsible staff, you want to stay responsible regardless whether you are on vacation or not. Hence, you might want to pick up the call. 

But honestly, everyone wants to have a peaceful holiday, a getaway from everything familiar even for just a couple of days. So, how best to approach this?

A suggestion would be to tell your boss that you are on vacation whereby your access to phone calls and messages would be limited. Hopefully, he will get the “real” message. So if you decide not to answer the call or read the message even though the phone was all the while right beside you, you are not going to be held responsible for being irresponsible. 

Yet…it’s still annoying to know there is an unanswered call or unread message. It’s a bother, to say the least. And yes, your holiday is in essence interrupted.

Well, looks like the only way to have a “no interruption” holiday is DO NOT bring your hand phone along. 

But seriously in this time in this century, that’s almost unthinkable.