Smutty e-mails a sackable offence, tribunal decides

The right of employers to sack staff for sending personal e-mails has been strengthened by an employment tribunal decision yesterday.

David Pennington and Rupert Beverley were sacked from Holset Engineering in Huddersfield after a colleague complained about a circulated joke e-mail.

The landmark tribunal threw out unfair dismissal claims by the employees, who claimed they did not know that they were doing anything wrong.

Although other workers have been sacked for sending emails, it is the first time that the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act has been challenged.

Legal experts say the case sends out a clear warning to staff.

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