Employers crack down on staff misuse of internet and e-mail

One in three employers have dismissed workers for abusing e-mail and
internet services, according to research.

An IRS survey shows that employers are cracking down on the misuse of e-mail
and internet services through a combination of detailed policies, disciplinary
sanctions, and filter software that blocks access to dubious websites.

The poll of 63 employers in both the public and private sectors also reveals
that nearly half had initiated disciplinary hearings about e-mail and internet
misuse over the past year.

But the research also shows that many employers only resort to disciplinary
action after informal warnings have been repeatedly ignored.

It also shows that many employers fail to insist on aspects of good practice
in how staff use e-mails and the internet at work that would actually minimise
the risk to their organisation.

Internet access is widespread among the surveyed organisations, and almost
all had a formal policy dealing with its use. All were unanimous in banning
access to porn, and only a few didn’t operate formal bans on obscene e-mails.
However, there was far more tolerance to staff using the internet for online
shopping, and just one in seven employers tried to prevent staff from using
work facilities to send private e-mails.  www.irsemploymentreview.com

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