Companies offering on-line training could be taken to court by employees under the Human Rights Act if they are unable to provide equal access for all their workforce.
Mike Harbon, IT skills and development consultant at telecommunications company AT&T EMEA, warned that inequalities in the provision of on-line training could cause disgruntled employees to take companies to court.
Harbon told Personnel Today that the problem would apply to companies with large numbers of outsourced staff, who would have access to the intranet of the company they are contracted to, but not that of their parent company.
He said, “If you have connectivity issues this could be a problem. Somebody could say they were going to take you to court because you didn’t give them the same opportunities.”
Harbon said the solution to the problem was to offer outsourced employees access to training via secure, password-protected Internet sites.
He said, “This will allow outsourced workers access but prevent other organisations getting access to the company intranet.”
Harbon added that on-line learning can often unlock unknown talents within employees. He cited the case of a security guard who gained IT qualifications on-line while working night shifts.