Employers urged to draw up email code for staff

The
Industrial Society and the TUC have published their own set of guidelines on
sending and receiving emails at work and called on employers to draw up an
email code with them to end the confusion.

The
guidelines urge companies to check emails for obscene, indecent or racist
material but allow occasional responsible use of emails for personal reasons.

Companies
should ensure emails from union reps to members are confidential and remind
employees their emails could be checked in their absence, they say.

Industrial
Society chief executive Will Hutton said: "While employers have legitimate
interests to protect, over zealous monitoring can undermine employees’ dignity
and autonomy within the workplace."

Employers
should:

Warn
users that emails may be electronically scanned for obscene, indecent, racist
or illegal material.

Allow
for the occasional and reasonable personal use of email, as long as this does
not interfere with an employees’ work.

Give
assurances that emails between union reps and members will not be monitored or
read by managers.

Remind
employees that their emails may be checked at work if they are unexpectedly
absent or leave without leaving forwarding agreements.

By
Richard Staines

www.tuc.org.uk

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