Each week, Peninsula Business Services invite business owners, finance directors and senior management to take advantage of our national program of FREE Employment Law and Health & Safety Webinars.
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It is important that you include within contracts of employment watertight policies and procedures to deal with internet usage. If you do not already have these in place then this webinar will inform you on the process you need to go through. Would you know how to deal with disgruntled employees who use social media as a platform to post negative comments about their job role or even worse the company they work for?
HR expert Amanda Chadwick will provide an informative webinar on how to deal with such issues. She will also cover how to tackle internet misuse at work and what rules and procedures that you need to implement
Contact Peninsula online for advice on this issue, or call us on 0844 892 2772 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
Click Here for the Video Transcript:
Good morning, everybody. Hello. Welcome to my webinar today. It's Amanda Chadwick here from Peninsula Business Services Limited. It's the 15th of April. In today's webinar we're talking about managing internet use in the work place and e-mail and social networks in the workplace. We are also going to talk about what you can do about people using and abusing the internet. Before I start this webinar, there is a video on YouTube that I'd like you to see to really get the point across about how the internet and social networking has grown over the last few years. So I want to show you this video. It's going to last about three or four minutes and it has some great statistics on there. I was actually going to put some slides up with statistics and I thought what the hell, I'm just going to show you this video. It's a really good video.It gets the point across about the use of social network and internet and managing it in the workplace as well as the importance of it. At the end of this video I'm going to talk about policies, procedures, documentation and some questions that have come through about social networking and the media and also obviously things that have to do with the internet. Let me get this video up for you and bear with me a second. Here we go. I have to get through to the internet so I can get this video up for you. I'm not very techie, so bear with me. It shows you all of the statistics. It's absolutely fantastic. Here is the video.So there you have it. I thought I'd show you that video because quite often I speak about the social media revolution. I talk about it to people and I talk about the statistics of the internet and I think that this video gets it across. Sorry about the advertisement there of the iPhone 5. I can't help that that comes up on the video. I don't want to force you to go out there and buy one. I hope that helps you see the importance of this webinar today on managing internet, e-mail and social network within the workplace. People believe what people say on the internet and what people can say on the internet can destroy your business. If it's your staff talking about you on the internet you need to get it sorted. So let's carry on with this presentation. I hope you enjoyed that video. You're free to look at that again. It's called "Socialnomics". It's something I discovered when I was investigating internet, e-mail and social networking a number of years ago and I find it a really good, really true with statistics and I'm sure you did as well.
So the internet, one of the most noticeable trends in the workplace over the past five years has been an increase in internet usage and consequently abuse of the internet. Whilst the internet can be, without a doubt, an invaluable resource in the workplace for research and information; nonetheless, the potential for abuse is great. We have to remember here that abuse can range from doing the weekly shop, to gambling online, to viewing pornography, booking holidays or even downloading unsavoury images. That's something you do not want to happen within your workplace. It is vital to define what the company's Acceptable Use Policy, AUP, constitutes and to explain this policy to everyone in the company as well as making clear the potential outcomes - should that be abused. What we've seen also, if you heard my webinar a couple of weeks ago on addiction, is that we've seen a different shift of personality of children these days. I know that I have 4 children and I have two grandchildren and another grandchild on the way. I have to say that each and every single one of them, whether you like it or not, is exposed to mobile phones, iPods, Xbox, PlayStation, DS and the school children they are with all have that type of stuff. When is it acceptable to give your child a phone and when is it not? Much less peer pressure of having the best phone and FaceTiming each other. I try to keep my children away from that.
My 9-year-old daughter at the moment is pressuring me because her mates all FaceTime each other on a tablet. I really don't like the FaceTime. The other thing I don't like is when my son is on the Xbox and has it on loud speaker and whoever is listening to him on the Xbox can hear everything that's going on in the house. We're letting this internet into the workplace but we're also certainly letting it into home life as well. What's happening as well is these teenagers, these children, are born with mobile phones, IT and technology. They're a different type of personality and they're coming into your workplace.
Now what we're seeing is addiction. We're seeing addiction to the internet. We're seeing addiction to pornography, gambling, shopping, etc. If somebody has an addiction and it is causing depression or stress we have to worry here because they could be covered under the Mental Health Act. Be aware of that. If somebody is in a meeting with you and they are saying, "I'm depressed and stressed. I'm on tablets and have counselling because of my addiction to something like that", then we've got to take it down a different route. Just be aware of that. I thought I would bring that to your attention.
Then we also have social networking and e-mail. E-mail, obviously, is an invaluable business tool. Believe it or not, many employees cannot remember a time when we did not have e-mail. I can! I can remember when you just had one phone on the desk at work and we didn't have e-mail at all. I remember e-mail being introduced and in 1999 Mercury and Orange were trying to sack people for abuse of e-mail. They had to reinstate a few of them because they didn't have policies and procedures in place to back that up. Although it is a fantastic tool for the workplace, it's cost effective, it's cheap to run and messages get sent straight away, we have cloud-based systems as well now, the potential for misuse, abuse and breaches in confidentiality are enormous.
Problems you may encounter are forwarding of e-mails that you've sent and put some confidential information in perhaps talking about somebody. Bearing in mind the fact that they never really disappear from the internet, phrases sound different on an e-mail. They could contain fancy words and also I could be emotional today and put lots of meanings into an e-mail, send it and then regret it 10 minutes later, but the damage has been done.
We're going to talk about writing a policy in just a second here and then I'm going to go to statistics. Then I'm going to answer some of your questions. Remember, when your staffs are in the building or on the clock, so to speak, you would really expect them to only send work e-mails, but you need to establish this clearly in the policy. What I'm looking for in your handbook, in your conditions of employment, is established, clear policies on e-mail use, internet use, usage of the social networks. I'm not just talking about Facebook here. I'm talking about Flickr, Instagram, LinkedIn and all of those types of places. We need to establish clear policies. We need to establish clear policies that are dictating what is expected of their behaviour outside of work on social networking sites as well, inking them to your own disciplinary procedures obviously. Have a mobile and iPod policy in place as well because employees may surf the net on these devices while working for you. It's not a bad thing to have a Mobile Phone Policy and a Search Policy.
Make sure you cover what is expected during breaks and the use of internet during their break time if you give that as a facility to your staff. Remember, you cannot control what they will write on their own personal e-mails outside of work time. Normally, any actions by your staff outside of work you have no say in; however, you can remind all of the staff that they have an obligation not to bring the company into disrepute. You need to write that down. You need to make this very, very clear in your policy because we've seen several tribunals fail because they haven't been explicit in their policies about what is expected of their staff outside of work.
Make it clear in your updated policy that any negative comments in the public domain about the company, its employees, or clients will be subject to disciplinary procedures. We don't want to leave any surprises there for staff. You must be clear about your definition of negative and you cannot define this too broadly.
Inform your staff that in addition to disciplinary action, they could be subject to liable for comments they make about staff. One thing that I wanted to bring up here on the use of social networking sites... What you have is some sort of paragraph... I'm just giving you an overview on law here today. If I had a nursing company here, a care home, a children's nursery, a shop, a marketing company, each and every single one of those companies would have totally different policies in place because of the way they use the internet and social networking. I'm just going to give you a bland reference to social networking here. I would like to see something such as, the use of social networking sites during your working hours is strictly forbidden.
Also, due to the lack of confidentiality of these sites, contact with our clients or their employees outside of working hours is not advised; however, if contact is made you must not make reference to the company nor must company related business be discussed. Unauthorized or inappropriate use of social networking sites will result in disciplinary action which could include summary dismissal.
What you have to remember there is that you can't have my clients as friends, but if you do have my clients as friends you cannot talk about the company I work for, I own or the colleagues. On any social networking sites people are going to say, "I've had a really bad day at work". You can't discipline them for that, but you can certainly have a word with them if they say, "Amanda is an absolute battle-axe at work. She gets right on my nerves and today she did this. She did that and she bullied me and blah, blah, blah", because they are making allegations here. You have to define what negative is without breaching somebody's human rights in this policy.
What other facts and society's patterns... Here are some of the statistics which I think Socialnomics did cover. We have 70% of companies that provide internet access to half of their employees. In a survey of 1,439 workers, 37 admitted to surfing constantly at work. 32% surfed a few times a day and 21% surfed a few times a week. What I've seen change is my dad is 78 and he lives in a caravan in North Wales. He has Sky Television, but also has a Smartphone. My dad actually has an iPhone and what he does is he watches his Sky on the Go on there. He does his weekly bet on there and what he loves is Facebook as it's his way of connecting with his grandchildren. He certainly also loves all of the funny videos people post on there. I personally don't do Facebook, but my dad absolutely loves it. When I go visit him he shows me what everyone has been up to on Facebook on his phone and I just think that is the way forward. He's 78 years of age and yet he's embraced this technology.
Then we've got, like I said, the youth of today and you're all going to inherit these people within the workplace. Facebook and social networking sites are highly addictive. We've got to put a stop to that. You're well within your rights to limit the use of social networking sites. You're well within your rights, if it's your company, to say that you can't use your mobile phones in the work place. A lot of the incidents and disciplinaries that we get involved in have involved somebody's personal mobile and the use of Facebook in the workplace.
What other facts and society patterns do we have? 64% of companies have disciplined employees with reference to social networking. More than 30% have terminated employees for inappropriate use of the internet and specifically accessing pornography, online chatting, gaming and sports. These are distractions that we've got here. Instagram is not on there. We have Flickr, Google Mail, YouTube, Amazon, Apps, Gaming, Dropbox, Booking.com. EBay is another one, especially around Christmas. Mobile internet growth, we've seen this growth. You can tell by the video that I showed you at the beginning. I cannot tell you how important it is for you to listen to what I'm saying today to get the right policies and procedures in place because if you haven't, it's very frustrating.
Society changes and implications. I know when I first started work in 1980 there was no mobile phones. If they did exist they were new out. I didn't have one. Pagers may have just come out at that point. There was just a landline phone on your desk. We didn't use e-mail. We tell at text to everybody. We didn't have faxes. Everything has changed since 1980 when I first started work. Mobile phones implications with them have really, really changed so it screams out to me for you to have a mobile phone policy regarding the use of. I want it written for personal use mobile phones in the workplace so I can actually say you can't use your mobile phone except for in the break or lunch rooms. Or I could say that. In some cases some companies say, "I haven't got a problem with people using their mobile phones in work".
There are some companies that have a personal Mobile Phone Use Policy. Then they have a work mobile, where they give people a work mobile. Again, when you're giving people at work a mobile, tell them that you can track them on it. Tell them that you can access the messages and also e-mails. That you can see photographs that they upload as well because then it doesn't leave surprises later on, does it?
Also, it might be a good idea if you're having a problem with people using their mobile phones to put in place a Right to Search Policy. This gives you the right to search your staff wherever they are working for you. It gives you the right to search them. It doesn't give you the right to strip their clothing off them because that is assault. You can't touch them. It's you saying to me as an employer, "Amanda, please empty your handbag. Amanda, please empty your pockets. Amanda, we think you're using your mobile phone. Please empty your pockets." A search policy, not just for stealing here, although it can be used for that. It's for drink, alcohol; mobile phones and also stealing your protective documents, policies, etc. as well. So, a Right to Search, your intellectual property. That is the word I was looking for. The Right to Search Policy is an amazing policy to have and I would say that you have that with your Use of Mobile Phone Policy.
You need to remember as well, when I'm talking to you, that you are industry-specific. I know I have different people listening to me today. You need to make sure that when you have a policy written that you're not copying somebody else's. Just because your friend in HR and works for manufacturing doesn't mean to say the policies that are in manufacturing are suited for somebody in the care sector. Nursery. Laira Green Nursery in Devon. I used to go to that school many years ago. They didn't have a nursery there, but why was a lady in the nursery using her mobile phone to take pictures of children? This scares me because for over a decade I've been telling nurseries about the importance of banning mobile phones in the workplace. It takes a serious incident like that for people to say, "Oh gosh. We better get that policy in place." I like preventative measures.
My job is to protect the employee and manage them in that nature. My job is to get the legislation, read it and put it in lay persons terms rather than having you sit there reading 84 documents or reading about the bribery act. My job is to interpret it and then put it over to you in lay person's terms so that you digest it. I usually do that by storytelling. That's my job to do that.
I want to warn you in advance that I'm about preventative measures. I can spot trends of things that are emerging in the workplace. If I'm saying to you, 10 years ago, 15 years ago, get a lay-off procedure, a shortage of work procedure in place, if I'm saying 15 years ago to get a social networking policy in place, get a Mobile Phone Policy, please listen and take it seriously. Just because you're not having a problem at the moment doesn't mean to say that you won't in the future. I'm warning you that the people you inherit in the future will have more of an addiction than the staff that you have now because they have been brought up with technology.
Nursery care, teaching, health screams out to me to get a Social Networking Policy in place. What you have to be careful of here is having somebody is in the health sector that befriends one of their clients and they add them to Facebook. Be very careful because we had an incident where they unfriended them or unliked them, I don't know what you call it, but they unfriended them and the person used to self-harm. Because to that person the employee was up here to them and they were their client so they looked up to them. When they unfriended them on Facebook, they started to self- harm again. Dangerous territory.
Teaching. Put in policies where teachers cannot have their students as friends on Facebook because they are entering into their private life and private domain. People put things on there about their private life. Also, what you do in your spare time has nothing to do with me and if you have a very colourful personal life, good for you, but people put that on Facebook, don't they? They put it on social networking sites. If it is maybe a little bit on the unsavoury side to some people and I have clients that you are friends on Facebook with, I might say that you can say you work in the care sector, but you can't actually say that you work for me. You can say you work in the law sector, but you can't actually say that you work for my company. That way we're making it quite bland then.
They're not associated with our company. Their private life is their private life. It's up to them what they do, but be very careful. You might want to warn your staff, especially in, for example, nursery care. A lot of the Nursery Caregivers babysit for their clients and what you might want to say... Then they become friends with them on Facebook, but then they're exposing them to their own personal life. If they're drug taking, etc. in a post on Facebook and people might then choose to take their children out of your nursery. You have to be very careful. There's a very fine line here for where we step over the Human Rights Act.
My guidelines are to write a policy that says that we are well aware of the impact and the amazing tool that social networking is. We are aware of the implications and we are aware of the rules. When you use a social networking site you can say what industry you are in, but you can't say what company you work for. You can't talk about my employees or clients or business on any social networking site or internet or e-mail. That way you are being bland, but you are also putting down specific rules as well. Remember to be clear, concise and consistent with your rules as well.
History of Data Policies and why they got it wrong. Let's have a look at this. We have people that are using their mobile phone in the workplace and taking a picture of someone they are caring for. They post it on the internet and then there's a barrage of abuse below the comments of the elderly lady. She's at home in a care home. Somebody's taking a picture of her at a Christmas Party and posting it to Facebook. She didn't tell them to. Her photograph has a barrage of abuse. That is not acceptable.
We then have people talking about their businesses on Facebook. The companies, when they talk about them, haven't got specific policies in place. They can't really do much about it. It's about bringing your business into disrepute and it's about being explicit about what people can and can't do. We've got a social media horror story here. A woman clearly misjudged the innocence of stating her Facebook status to a roundabout way of why she wants to be fired, why her job is awful, either thinking her privacy settings would keep her boss and co-workers from seeing her hateful posts or simply forgetting they were friends. She was in for quite a surprise to see a few hours later that in fact she had been fired. I hope they went through the right process though.
Though for her it was likely a dream come true since she allegedly had the worst boss ever, she'll go down in social media history of what not to do. It just goes to show you that swearing at your boss and vocalizing your hate for work in a public domain will not make you employee of the month, although you might feel like doing it. I know I'd love to do that sometimes. Not about my boss, but wouldn't you like to be very vocal sometimes on e-mail and the internet. You just have to be very, very careful.
Getting the basics right. It is perfectly acceptable for you to monitor e- mails. It is perfectly acceptable for you to monitor the internet use and access and telephone calls, but you have to have a policy to say that you do so. Otherwise you are breaching data protection. Implement an IT policy within your employee handbook. Make your expectations clear. Keep your eyes open. Request non-business mobile phones are kept off of the desk or whatever your policy says. Be sure machines are automatically locked and passwords frequently changed. You write that into your policies and procedures as part of the everyday process. We've dealt with many tribunal and many employment issue where people have updated somebody's personal profile, opened up photographs of them, posted them onto the internet, all because they haven't locked their machine.
So have an automatic lock on them. Implement PC's to be used for personal web access by employees during authorized breaks. On your ordinary PC's you say you can't access the internet or social networking sites, but during breaks we have a computer there that people can use. What you might want to have is e- mail filters that trigger certain things and firewalls as well. As I keep saying, you have to be fair and consistent in your guidelines here.
IT Policy Guidelines. You must be explicit about what, how and why you monitor the internet and e-mail usage. What you would say is you would give an overview of the policy. Then you would say that it would give a short guide to the rules the company requires to be followed by users of the company's IT systems. For example, computers including without limitation, the personal digital assistance telephones and other telecommunications equipment. The company reserves the right, you might say to review and amend the policy and the rules relating to the use of IT systems on a regular basis to reflect changes in the law and technical developments.
Never in my life have I not known a policy that constantly changes because the way forward is changing all of the time. Such amendments may be issued separately. Depending on your specific role in the company you may be issued with a separate or additional rules relating to the use of our IT systems from time to time. Any requests for clarification on this policy and the rules relating to the IT systems will go to, if you have an IT Manager, be addressed to those in the first instance. Otherwise it would go to the director of the company.
You talk about the security systems and how you monitor, review and assess each and every activity held and conducted on our computer equipment including work stations, laptops, tablets, PCs, desk phones and mobile phones including Smartphones owned by the company, with the exception of the PC situated in the designated break areas. All other equipment is strictly for business use only. You're really laying down your expectations. Monitoring, review and assessment of activities, data held is continuously undertaken for the following business reasons.
It might be to protect commercial and business interest. To ensure no data theft or breaches of data confidentiality, to ensure compliance with policies and procedures, to maintain security and adherence to legal requirements, to investigate suspicions of bullying, harassment, or discrimination, to ensure that standards are being maintained, and for training and dispute resolution procedures. Tell them that access is likely to be made to their electronic mailbox to check on adherence to policy or to progress work in absence because that's what happens. Sometimes people have a password for computers and e-mails. Nobody knows it and if you haven't got the authority to get into it, even in a catch 22 situation, so it's not a bad idea to let your staff know that you can actually access their mailbox in their absence. Don't leave any surprises there when they come back to work and find out that it's been opened.
You should also tell them that they shouldn't view their e-mail at work as private to them. It is a business account so it is for business use. Let them know that internet and network usage will be monitored. That's a good idea. Using a company computer to access inappropriate content and websites, you need to tell them, is not allowed. You might want to give examples of inappropriate content such as suspicions and defamation, copyright infringement, harassment, or content of a sexual nature. Make sure that you say that the list is not exhaustive because it constantly changes. What you would do then is lay down the rules of who is permitted to access the company's computer equipment, company accounts and associated passwords. You talk about new software, virus checking, withdrawing hard drives, software and also that everything will result in disciplinary action. What you would also do is talk about copying, removal of IT software data and how that will result in disciplinary action.
You might also want to mention that they should never connect any hardware or external equipment to your computer without prior permission from your IT manager. Now you might think that is a bit extreme, but examples of prohibited items would be printers, digital cameras, PDA's, palm top devices, mobile phones, mp3 players, USB memory sticks, compact Flash memory, network cards, external... The list is endless. CD ROM's, hard disk drives and each and every one of them could contain a virus that could completely disrupt your business. Not only that, but you may have a disruptive employee that is doing that on purpose.
You'd also have an internet use policy. You'd talk about referring them to the Equal Opportunities and Harassment Policy. You'd talk about unauthorized use. You'd talk about the copyright and intellectual property rights. You'd talk about the fact that in order to carry out their duties they must have access to some secure websites, but they must have an e-mail and password. You then talk about e-mail use and what is appropriate and that the fact that they must not send e-mail on behalf of another user unless they have permission to do so. What you also must do is talk about the use of e-mail rather than talking to people and that they shouldn't forward an e- mail on without permission.
Then you would have a policy, as I said, on social networking sites and what you expect of those and the use of them. You need to make sure they are aware of the consequences of any breach. You would also ban chain mail and make sure that corporate e-mail is not for personal use. Social networking acceptable behaviour. Separate business and personal accounts. That's like, for LinkedIn for example. If they're going to have a business account for LinkedIn you might want to monitor that through work. I would definitely have a Data Protection Section. This is going to be big news within the next 24 months. Mobile Phone Use Section and Interception of Communication Section as well. Then a bit about bringing their own device and also regular reminders because what can happen is it's dead easy to put policies and procedures into place. Well, it's not dead easy, but it's easy to put them in place then easily forget that you have them there or why you have them there because you haven't had a problem.
What I get is a lot of companies say, "Amanda, look. I have all of this in place, but we have been lackadaisical and what we've done is not really followed our own procedures. In fact, I'm guilty of using my mobile phone. What can I do about it?" What you need to do is draw a line under that episode. Remind people that as from, for example, Monday or tomorrow, mobile phones will not be acceptable to use within the workplace as per our mobile phone policy. Admit that you have been a bit lackadaisical, but as from Monday, you are taking this seriously because people have been excessively using it. Regular reminders are not a bad idea and remember that you should be tailoring your policies and procedures depending on what your business culture's expectations are. There are more advanced measures out there for larger companies or people that deal with very sensitive information. We're talking about IronPort systems, Websense, Spectral-360.
These e-mail monitors, they have trigger factors and the words that are used and the amount of what is sent. There's web monitoring and blocking. You can implement white and black lists. There's telephony statistics as well and voice recording if you are one of those businesses where you need to monitor calls that are made and the calls that come in. There're also screen capture tools as well. It photographs the screen and saves it so you know what screens have been accessed.
So what do you do when you identify a breach? You need to gather as much evidence as possible. Actions could include disciplinary, counselling, a letter of concern, summary dismissal. It depends on the severity of the breach and really it boils down to what your IT policies, internet policies, e-mail policies and social networking policies say. Now what I'm going to do is answer some questions that have been sent in.
What information do you recommend we have in a written policy for both internet and e-mail misuse to include, in particular, Facebook?
Now don't focus on Facebook here. There're lots of other growing sites now and lots of other addictions. Podcasts, Instagram... What's that one where it gives you a 60 second video? I can't remember what that's called now, so e-mail, internet, social media, data protection, mobile phones, and interception of communication sections within your IT policy. Include the purpose of the policy. Whether staff can access the internet at work and what are the restrictions. It's exactly what I'm saying. What sorts of materials can be accessed and also point out what can't be accessed. Sometimes you have to do this. You have to make it very clear because at tribunal they turn around and say, "Your staffs are not mind readers."
They simply don't know what is right and wrong. As you are the employer, your expectations should be written in your Conditions of Employment Handbook. Do you like my tribunal voice then? Abuse of pornographic material might make sense to us, but to employees, they might think this is not a problem. They've given me the internet use so why can't I download what I want? Details. Who has access to e-mails? That the e-mail system will be monitored including details of what is considered to be acceptable, authorized use for the internet and e-mail and what is classified as authorized use.
Is it possible that company policies can be worded to assured that it is a disciplinary offense to continually access social media in work time for personal use? Can we ask that our employees do not refer to their place of work on social media?
Well, I've answered that earlier. I simply said, is it okay to say to your staff that they can't refer to their place of work on social media sites? It's perfectly acceptable to say they can talk about the industry. It is perfectly acceptable to word the policy so that if they do continually talk about employees that it is a disciplinary offense. Absolutely yes to both. Be clear as to whether or not any access to social media sites is acceptable during work time. The policy can be worded specific to the needs of the business. For example, some businesses may encourage the use of social networking sites for advertising purposes. I'd like to be honest you, if I had a hairdressing business, I'd want my staff to talk about my workplace and the things that we're doing and put photographs up of hair that they have done, but I'd be very cautious. I'd have some sort of policy in place that says that before anything is uploaded they have to have it authorized by me. So we have an internet, mobile phone and e-mail policy.
Although we have it, staffs are still using their phones and are not adhering to the rules. We have to admit that we have been lapse. What can we do? As I said, earlier on, that happens. It is really important as a business to ensure you are consistently managing your staff in line with your policies and procedures and ensuring that appropriate action is taken for every breach of said procedures. Draw a line in the sand under any breaches to date and make all staff aware that you will no longer tolerate any breach of the procedures. That any breach will result in formal action, potentially disciplinary. So we're drawing and saying I know we let it lapse, but from Monday, end of, we're starting again.
What about personal content on text messages on company mobile phones? Where does the company stand?
It's back to your policies again. As part of your Mobile Phone Policy you can make it clear that personal use on company mobile phones is not permitted and they will be monitored. It's really embarrassing when you have to sit in a disciplinary, and I do mediation work as well, where you sit there and somebody says, "Well, I didn't know that if I took a picture on my work's mobile of me naked that you'd be able to see it. Do you think I would have taken it had I known that?" Then you point out that they had an induction on day one and you point out that you have policies and procedures in place which they signed to say that they had read and understood. Why are they surprised now that we can see a naked picture of them on their mobile that is a work's mobile? I think that I would make it specifically clear when I'm handing over a work's mobile, even though we have it written down as a policy, I would remind them as I give the mobile phone, remember, we can see everything that you do on that mobile. It's a work's mobile. It's for work purposes. So please don't take pictures of yourself.
Questions and answered continued. Is there a letter/fact sheet that we can give to employees with pay slips that outlines responsible use of internet? Also, is there anything you can advise regarding social networking insights?
Yes. You can issue a reminder with your pay slip, which could also include social networking insights. I know a lot of companies that have a lot of employees based all over the country. What they do is they have the intranet; they have the employee rule handbook updated and uploaded on there. Be honest with yourself. I'll be honest with you. I have an employee handbook. Would I spend my weekend reading an update? Probably not. The only time I would read that Employment Rule Handbook is if I was in trouble. It's not a bad idea to put into a pay slip anyway, that the Employment Rule Handbook has been updated recently and it is up to them to keep themselves updated. We would recommend though that it is signed by the employee, but it is still not a bad thing to put a reminder into pay slips. It's the one thing that people do read. If you were to put it to a client, remember we can update you or this issue without updating any of these policies.
If an employee is discovered to be misusing company e-mail in its facilities, is it necessary to have a policy in place on the subject in order to terminate a contract if the use is repeated or unacceptable? Is it legal to monitor employee use?
Again, you need to have an IT policy in place to dismiss a member of staff. How else do you demonstrate rules? It is perfectly legal to monitor as long as you've met the guidelines set out earlier. Data Protection Policy. Internet Policy. E-mail Policy. If you want to monitor, you have got to say that you do it. When I talk about recording your staff on CCTV, you have to say that you do it.
Next question, how do you monitor when people may go on websites and leave them open, so they may have only been looking at them at lunch time for example. Would use of personal mobile phones be covered?
The only way to do this would be with a key-stroke logger where you can see exactly what is on the screen and for how long. You can also decide how you want to deal with personal mobile use.
When use of the internet is required by the job, how do you draw the line between personal use versus business use?
That's a good question. The only way you would know this is by looking into detail at sites visited to by an employee with a tool such as Websense. You could have an allowable use exception that determines exactly how much time is permissible on the internet for personal use. In your Internet Policy you would have a section that says personal usage of internet in work and then determine what you would consider the expectations of your business and what you would allow to be permissible. The easiest method is to have an IT policy and use of force against it. It's everything I've been saying along the way anyways.
I hope you enjoyed the video at the beginning. The Socialnomics video. I hope that you found my webinar today on the internet and mobile phone and social networking sites easy to listen to and that you've taken some things on board. I only have 45 minutes to get the point across before you lose interest in me. If you do have a question about any subject on employment law, if you want to ask me any question, you might even want to ask me why I have curly hair, why I wear glasses, how old I am. I don't know. Those make me laugh, those questions. If you have any questions about anything about employment law or health and safety policy or procedures, or about any current legislation, feel free to e-mail me. By the way, that e- mail comes to me so ask Amanda anything at Amanda@Peninsula-UK.com.
If you want to catch up with any previously broadcasted webinars of mine, you can catch them on two links here. One is our Peninsula Business Services Television channel on the internet: http://www.PBSTV.co.uk and that has podcasts. It has webinars I've hosted. You can learn anything from mental health problems to dealing with sickness, to dealing with current legislation. I think yesterday's was just random questions that people sent in and that I answered over the internet. There are some really good webinars on there. You might also want to look at our YouTube channel: www.youtube.com/pbspressoffice. Remember in any correspondence to put the webinar that you listened to. Today's webinar number is 62.
You've been listening to Amanda Chadwick. I'm a Senior Speaker and Broadcaster at Peninsula Business Services Limited. We currently integrate ourselves with 128 businesses around the U.K. I currently advised and support tens of thousands of businesses in the job that I do. I speak for nearly every association and federation that there is in the country. If you would like me to come speak at an event that you are hosting for free, please contact me at Amanda@peninsula-uk.com. Thank you very much for listening to me and I hope to speak to you again soon. It's good-bye from me.