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Cable & Wireless sack staff for e-mail abuse


Cable & Wireless have recently dismissed six of their staff for sending offensive e-mails and many others are facing disciplinary action. The sackings are demonstrating how seriously employers are taking alleged misuse of electronic communications using their systems.

The staff who worked in the Birmingham sales office, were suspended immediately and then dismissed at a later stage after a hearing. One of those sacked stated that the e-mail which the company used as their reason for dismissal contained an obscenity.

Several of the staff are expected to appeal against the company's decision to sack them through the company's internal appeals procedure. They are claiming that misuse of the computer system is rife within Cable & Wireless and they have been singled out unfairly.

All of the staff involved are understood to have only been employed with Cable & Wireless less than a year thus making them unable to appeal to an industrial tribunal.

The Human Rights Act has not long been established therefore courts are still unsure as to the boundaries of this act. Rulings outlined within this act are that employers should be prevented from opening employees e-mails unless they are suspected of criminal behaviour.

These rules are widely believed to be contradicted by government regulations that became law on October 24 allowing employers to access information in specific circumstances.


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