Employment Law specialist, Theresa Carling says:

"There can’t be many of us that have been able to resist the temptation of checking their work emails whilst supposedly enjoying their down time.

The truth is that the use of smartphones, for personal and business purposes, means that we are never far from the office, even when we are in reality 100’s or 1000’s of miles away. 

I have to admit that I checked my emails while on my honeymoon (my husband was very understanding!), and I’m sure many professionals have done the same, even where it’s just a quick check to put your mind at rest on a tricky matter which has been ongoing (which sometimes leads to a long exchange of emails which ruins your day off!)

Would you think that this is working time? 

This is important to categorise as there could be a cogent argument that working like this can be dangerous for both parties: the employee doesn’t get that prized time away from the workplace, and the employer needs to think hard about whether the employee is having genuine rest breaks and that the employee is receiving National Minimum or Living Wage and is under the 48 hour working week.

France are now taking this quite seriously, and it will be interesting to see what the outcome will be. I suppose, at least it’s opening up a discussion!"