German car giant Volkswagen has taken the bold step of agreeing to stop sending emails via BlackBerry to employees when they are off shift.

VW agreed earlier in the year that employees should not have to deal with email outside of their scheduled hours,

For the time being the restriction is only in Germany, and has been brought in with the agreements of the trade unions.

A spokesman for VW told the BBC: "We confirm that this agreement between VW and the company's work council exists."

Half an hour

Apparently, the servers stop sending emails half an hour before the end of the shift and start again half an hour before it starts.

However, it's unlikely that we'll see other companies leaping on the bandwagon just yet, with warnings that schemes like this need support from all areas including the unions and, of course, bosses.

People wanting to replicate the system could always, of course, switch their BlackBerry off when they aren't supposed to be working.

Via BBC