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Have you clarified these three points in your communications policy?

by , 31 October 2013
You must implement a communications policy that informs employees in writing that their email may be monitored. It's crucial that you make these three points very clear in your policy...

One of the biggest headaches you'll face as an employer is the abuse of your communication tools.

Just last week, it emerged that Shan Ramburuth, head of South Africa's Competition Commission spent thousands downloading pornography.

According to a report by the Sunday Times, Ramburuth spent about R15 000 per hour downloading content from the Internet using a government SIM card. Some of this content was reported to have been hardcore pornography.

Unfortunately, your company could face this kind of abuse as well.

The good news is you can monitor your employees' communications and other communications tools to ensure this doesn't happen.

To do this, you must have a communications policy in place. In addition, you MUST:

  • Get prior consent in writing
  • Monitor communication in the course of your business.

But that's not all.

Make these three points VERY clear in your communications policy

#1: Your policy must make it clear that you provide the email system for business use.

#2: You must state that while limited private use is allowed, pornographic or other offensive images or attachments above a certain size aren't allowed.

#3: Make it clear that you'll monitor your employee's emails and they can't rely on the argument that there's been a breach of privacy.

Remember, reading your employees' email without consent could mean a fine of up to R2 million or up to ten years in jail.

Be sure to make these three points crystal clear in your communications policy so your employees won't plead ignorance.

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