Porn in the workplace!

December 14, 2011
 

Porn in the workplace!

With one in five men admitting to accessing porn at work, organisations know they are sitting on a potential time bomb.

While accessing porn is not illegal – unless it is explicit – the risks associated with brand damage and employee harassment litigation are significant.

Without any controls in places, employees will continue to abuse the corporate network, regardless of any acceptable usage policy. Furthermore, no line manager relishes the task of chastising a top sales person for their use of porn; nor does the business want to risk losing a number of valuable employees as a result of their inappropriate behaviour.

It is therefore essential to put in place a tool that not only monitors all email communication and flags up those containing suspicious images but also automates the organisations response, such as an email citing the suspected breach of the usage policy.

A recent survey found that one fifth (20%) of men questioned admitted to accessing pornographic material within the workplace. And they are increasingly using a range of legitimate communication tools, including email to easily propagate this material across both internal and external networks. Yet with each email containing the Company name in the sign off, the potential brand damage associated with the dissemination of pornographic material outside the organisation is significant.

This issue is a board level concern. Under the Protection from Harassment Act 1997, employers have a legal obligation to prove they are taking all reasonable practical measures to protect staff from inappropriate material. Companies and individual executives can also face criminal prosecution if the employees are found using the Company’s IT infrastructure to distribute porn.

Organisations can leverage technology to ensure that employees recognise the difference between appropriate and inappropriate behaviour in the work place.

Is your business having problems with employees using Pornography in the workplace? If so then you need us! Get in touch today for more information.

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This post is in: Employment Law Blogs

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