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Tuc Calls for E-Mail Rights for Workers


November 17, 2000

The union organisation called on employers to draw up sensible guidelines over the use of e-mails and access to the Internet in offices.

A code of practice should be agreed between employers and unions to encourage responsible behaviour as well as safeguarding workers' privacy, it was suggested.

The TUC said workers should be warned that e-mails could be scanned for obscene, indecent or racist remarks.

Staff should also be told that their e-mails could be checked if they were absent or went on holiday without leaving contact numbers.

The TUC and the Industrial Society today published a list of "do's and don'ts", which included "occasional and reasonable" personal use of e-mails.

TUC general secretary John Monks said recent regulations had left many workers worried that managers might be "snooping" on their personal emails.

"Employers fear that if they open any e-mail containing private information they could be breaching the Human Rights Act.

"But instead of reacting by banning the personal use of e-mail at work, it makes more sense for employers to consult with their workforce and draw up guidance which protects and reassures everyone."

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© The Belfast Telegraph Newspapers Limited.

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