HP staff suspended

IT directors were warned not to accept responsibility for e-mail policy after Hewlett-Packard dismissed a small number of...

IT directors were warned not to accept responsibility for e-mail policy after Hewlett-Packard dismissed a small number of employees and suspended 150 more who were caught viewing and sharing inappropriate Internet material.

The policing of internal e-mail policy, essentially a management responsibility, is often left in the hands of the IT director because it is seen as a technology issue.

Frims should avoid this situation at all costs, said Andrew Horrocks, IT partner at law firm Barlow Lyde & Gilbert. "E-mail policy should form part of a company's overall risk management strategy - it should not be left to the IT director," he said.

"E-mail policies should be included in [employment] contracts to give the employer rope in case of disciplinary procedures."

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