Communication facilities are revolutionising the way in which we keep in touch with others at work - our colleagues, our managers and also our clients and customers. Used appropriately, the exploitation of electronic facilities such as email and the internet improve work efficiency and facilitate new ways of working.
However the use of these technologies in the workplace also raises legal, ethical and managerial issues, which companies and employees’ representatives have been attempting to grapple with.
Trade unions are concerned, among other things, at the implications for individual privacy of electronic monitoring of communications. The code also suggests that company filters may not be designed to block employee access to trade union websites.
Employers in their turn have natural concerns that employees may take personal advantage of communication facilities to the detriment of their work – or that companies will be held legally responsible for the content of private emails.
This Code is designed to provide a common sense answer to these sorts of issues, and to establish an internationally recognised yardstick of what constitutes good practice.