Prepare for new internet use laws

Employers should ensure that their internet use policies are in line with proposed new laws on pornography, law firm Rowe Cohen has advised.

Obscene pornographic and sexually violent images on the internet are to be banned under proposals being announced this week. A new offence would make possession of violent and abusive pornographic images acquired electronically illegal. 

Neil Gouldson, head of employment at Rowe Cohen, said employees with internet access should have a ‘non-abuse’ clause written into their contracts stating exactly what is, and what is not, permissible.

“Clauses should put limits on the length of time, times of day and type of connection made, when private use of the internet is allowed,” he said.

“It is perfectly possible to monitor and limit employees’ internet and e-mail activity and establish clear guiding principles in their contacts. Better monitoring, tougher contracts and stricter disciplinary procedures should be in place.”

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