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Employers crack down on email abuse


Nearly one-third of UK organisations have dismissed staff for excessive or inappropriate use of email or the internet, according to a survey by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.

The survey of 356 employers established that e-mail abuse is a far bigger problem than internet misuse. It found that 60% of organisations reported problems with e-mail or internet misuse, of which 42% had dismissed staff and 27% had suspended staff.

Survey author Richard Goff commented, "Email and internet abuse remains a real concern for most organisations, particularly the legal ramifications over misuse.

"On the flip side however, excessive monitoring on the part of the employer can stifle creativity and more importantly trust, an essential ingredient of the relationship between employers and staff. Internet and email have become essential communication tools and there are times when using them for matters unrelated to work is necessary."

The study found that 94% of UK organisations now have an email or internet policy, which Goff said was "encouraging".

The study also found that many organisations were struggling to get to grips with new information technologies and systems. One third of respondents said their systems met most of their needs, but 34% said they were not on time and 23% said their IT expenditure exceeded its budget.

The author identified training and communication from both IT suppliers and managers as holding the key to improving the low satisfaction levels with IT systems.


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