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"As evidenced by the email"...is it not possible that the employer's understanding of the terms on which the employee left the previous post is incomplete or incorrect? The existence of a file named "compromise agreement", and its contents, in a hotmail account might not be the full picture. To what extent is the employer therefore entitled to rely on something acquired arguably in breach of confidence? To what extent is the employer entitled to interrogate the employee about the confidential terms of a compromise agreement which it had no right to read?

Phillip's pragmatic approach would be the best way of tidying up a very messy situation.

Jonathan Baines
Legal and Democratic Services
Buckinghamshire County Council
01296 383681


-----Original Message-----
From: This list is for those interested in Data Protection issues [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Alan Stead
Sent: Wednesday 01 June 2011 09:42
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [data-protection] Employment issue - Use of personal e-mail and untruths

  Don't forget the decision in the ECHR ( Nokia v Republic de
  France[1998 I think]) where an employee is alowed a "reasonable"
  amout of private use of an employers internet regardless of any
  conditions and also RIPA Part 1 (S1) prohibiting interception of an
  unopened email.
  Regards

  Alan

  Director
  IMTS
  Information Management Training Services Ltd
  4 Stanley Close
  Ravenshead
  Nottingham
  NG15 9GE
  Tel: 01623 400497 or
       07882 241908
  Web :- www.im-ts.co.uk
  Email:- [log in to unmask]


  Quoting "Ward, Ciaran" <[log in to unmask]>:

> A tricky scenario:
>
> A part time secretary works at a solicitors firm one day per week.
>>
>> Her manager is using the computer on which she is working and notices 
>> an open Hotmail account.  One document in her Hotmail is entitled 
>> 'Compromise Agreement'.  Her manager (a lawyer) gets suspicious and 
>> opens it as a compromise agreement is a document whereby an employer 
>> and employee agree terms to terminate employment.
>>
>> At interview when asked why she had left her previous employer she 
>> says that she was covering maternity leave before the previous 
>> employee returned.  This turns out to be a lie, as evidenced by the
>> e-mail.   As a result her manager writes to her and explains that  
>> they could not employ her as she was not entirely truthful at 
>> interview.
>>
>> She then protests, bleating on about data protection.
>>
>> My take on the situation:
>> Although technically, her manager was not entitled to view her 
>> personal e-mail under the DPA, the fact stands that she had been 
>> untruthful at the interview, and therefore they are entitled to 
>> dismiss her - regardless of how they found out.  As far as I'm aware 
>> there is no contract term about the use of personal e-mail at work, 
>> since this is a small firm of 2 partners and about 3 employees.
>>
>> Would appreciate any further comments on this.
>>
>> Ciaran Ward - Information Officer
>> Direct: 01992 709819
>>
>> Lee Valley Regional Park Authority
>> Myddelton House, Bulls Cross, Enfield, Middlesex, EN2 9HG
>> Tel: 01992 717711  Fax: 01992 709922
>> www.leevalleypark.org.uk<http://www.leevalleypark.org.uk/>
>> P please don't print this e-mail unless you really need to
>>
>>
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