Communications, Email and Internet Policy
This Communications, Email and Internet Policy defines what the company considers to be acceptable use of its communications facilities, with particular attention paid to email, telephone and internet use. The policy contains the option to either ban personal use of company email and internet facilities entirely or to permit limited and responsible use within the bounds of the policy.
This document has been reviewed and updated for compatibility with the UK GDPR.
This template includes specific reference to a separate social media policy, available here. An alternative version of this policy is also available, here, which combines all terms included in this document with those from the standalone social media policy.
The policy states that employees are encouraged to use the company’s communications facilities, including email and the internet, as a fast and reliable method of communication with significant advantages for the business. However, the policy also warns employees of the dangers that the misuse of communications can pose, exposing themselves and the company to legal and commercial risks and criminal offences.
This Communications, Email and Internet Policy also contains a section dealing with social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter, giving the employer the option to ban them entirely, allow limited personal use, or to allow business use only. Further, the policy seeks to remind employees of the duty they owe to their employer, and lays down guidelines for any blog or posting which could identify the poster as an employee of the company.
The policy includes a section on monitoring of email and internet usage. This is particularly important for employers because if employees are not told that monitoring of emails or internet use will occur, then a breach of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 or the Telecommunications Regulations 2000 may occur. Furthermore, while the UK GDPR does not specifically change the position on monitoring, privacy is nevertheless a key concern. Monitoring should be proportionate (less intrusive alternatives should always be considered); employees should be given details about monitoring (training should cover this early on); and impact assessments, designed to ensure that the needs of the employer are balanced with the rights of their staff, may be advisable.
Optional phrases / clauses are enclosed in square brackets. These should be read carefully and selected so as to be compatible with one another. Unused options should be removed from the document.
This policy contains the following sections:
2. General Principles
4. Blogging and Social Media Sites
6. Telephone Use, including mobile phones
9. Misuse and Compliance
This policy template is in open format. Either enter the requisite details in the highlighted fields or adjust the wording to suit your purposes.
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