M&S 'whisleblower' gets the sack

A worker at Marks & Spencer (M&S) has been sacked after telling the

media that the company planned to cut redundancy pay to staff.

See http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/7595969.stm

According to The Times today, Brendan Barber, General Secretary of the TUC, said that the decision was “truly shocking that an employee can be dismissed for exposing underhand and secretive decisions about issues that will directly affect staff in his workplace.

That’s not the point. Whether or not M&S are doing the right thing by their employees is not the issue. From my perspective the individual was sacked for gross misconduct: he exposed company confidential information to an unauthorised third party. The action was calculated and designed to cause trouble.

We all have an axe to grind from time to time, but if you deliberately drop your employer in the muck because of it then that makes your position untenable. M&S have done the right thing.

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I do not disagree with your statement. For security professionals / executives and anyone that considers her/himself business leaders, this underscores the need for policy and governance (both information security and HR). That is not to say that these were not in place at M&S. But generally speaking, it is a lot easier for the company to justify and defend actions like termination when acceptable use policies are in place, code of ethics, and information classification procedures.
Thanks Chris - I agree. Coincidentally there was a program on TV last night about a whistle-blower in the catering industry reporting the terrible hygiene standards in a high-class restuarant. My wife asked whether or not that amounted to the same thing (as the M&S whistle-blower) but it's not the same thing at all. Reason being that the whistleblower in this case was reporting something illegal. The M&S guy was just reporting something that he didn't like.