“The Supreme Court’s ruling reminds companies that a violation of rest time via a compulsory duty, even digital, is tantamount to being on call and must be compensated,” he told Le Figaro.
Lawyers for the ex-employee declined to comment and a Rentokil representative did not returned calls.
A recent study published by French research group Eleas showed that more than a third of French workers used their devices to do work out of hours every day. Around 60 per cent of workers were in favour of the new law.
Renowned for its 35-hour working week and long holidays, France’s decision to limit being contacted on electronic devices sparked considerable mockery abroad.
However, recent studies suggest that French workers actually put in more hours a year than their supposedly more industrious German counterparts, for example, and their hourly productivity rate is among the world’s highest.
The debate over the right to disconnect is by no means just French.
Some large groups such as Volkswagen and Daimler in Germany have already implemented measures to curtail out-of-hours messaging. These include cutting email connections in the evening and weekends or even destroying emails automatically that are sent to employees while they are on holiday.