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Let's have some boundaries; What employers need to consider when their employees go abroad to visit family

Published 09 December 2014

Work will be out of sight and out of mind for those employees lucky enough to be flying off for an overseas Christmas break.

The intention is usually to leave all thoughts of the office behind, along with the miserable weather at this time of year.

However technology has ensured work can be at the end of our fingertips, and prove to be an unwelcome distraction.

All employees are entitled to 5.6 weeks’ paid holiday leave a year, which provide the perfect opportunity for them to switch off and relax before returning to work hopefully refreshed and raring to go.

For an employer left with loose ends in need of tying up or matters in need of clarification, the temptation to contact and employee on holiday can irresistible.

The Working Time Regulations provide a right to statutory holiday entitlement, which mean employers should not pressure employees to work while on holiday.

Company mobile phones make it easy enough for an employee on holiday to stay in touch with what is going on back at work, but using it while on holiday can come at a very high cost.

Those nasty roaming charges can land an employee with a big phone bill and leave companies having to investigate if it can be considered excessive usage, and in breach of its mobile phone usage policy. 

A quick internet search for how to avoid roaming charges will produce some useful tips, which can be passed on to employees before they head for sunnier climes.

The good news is roaming charges in Europe are set to be scrapped late next year.

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For employment law advice or if you are affected or want information and support by any of the issues in this article please give us a call. 


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