The EIS has published new advice for members on accessing work emails during non-working hours.
The EIS is concerned that pressure to access work emails during personal time is contributing to an excessive long-hours culture for teaching staff. The new advice has been specifically prepared for lecturers within the EIS University Lecturers' Association (EIS-ULA), but is also relevant to staff working in other sectors.
Commenting, EIS General Secretary Larry Flanagan said, "Emails have become an increasingly prevalent feature of everyday working life, including within the education sector."
"Advances in technology, such as the boom in the use of smartphones and other mobile devices, have increased the pressure on employees to be constantly 'on-call' and ready to respond to communications at extremely short-notice."
"This is an added stressor on top of already high workloads, with serious implications for employee's mental health and wellbeing."
The new advice to members, which complements a model staff email policy that the EIS is seeking to agree with University employers, is designed to help members to manage work emails so that their work-life balance and health is improved.
Mr Flanagan, added. "All employers have a duty of care to their employees, so it is incumbent on all employers, including educational establishments, to take steps to protect employee mental health."
"This should always include appropriate protocols to manage the workload created by out-of-hours email communications, in order to guarantee appropriate work-life balance for all staff."