Half of companies that use e-mail don’t explain policy to staff

Almost 40% of UK companies employ staff who are expected to use e-mail, but only 20% of them adequately communicate their e-mail policy to their staff, according to research.

Almost two thirds (62%) of employers perform regular e-mail audits and a third (34%) have sacked an employee for violating e-mail policies, the study of 112 companies showed.

IT company Proofpoint, which carried out the research, warned that employers that do not make staff aware of e-mail checks risk breaching the Human Rights Act, Data Protection Act and the Lawful Business Practice regulations.

Mark Hughes, managing director of Europe Middle East & Africa at Proofpoint, said: “Businesses should have effective e-mail policies in place and make sure their employees understand what the policies are and why they need to be adhered to.”

More than 70% of respondents also said they had disciplined an employee for violating e-mail policies in the past year.

“To ensure the successful adoption of e-mail policy, senior management needs to demonstrate commitment as well as obtain compliance declarations from staff,” Hughes said.

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