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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 47914
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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Can you tell me me what the situation is regarding works

Resolved Question:

Hi ,can you tell me me what the situation is regarding works Email and privacy.My employer set up a works email account with outlook.com using my name and details and also for my work colleagues .The problem I've got is that this week my partner used my email to send a quote by mistake . While I was away on holiday my line manager looked at my email correspondence and discovered that my partner mistakenly used my account, as he has got a account with outlook as well. She informed me that my account has been used for illicit purposes and is now suspending me for a breach of my email use she also contacted the local council who also as access to my email and they then had to run security breach checks just incase their service had been compromised. I work as personnel care assistant which is funded by the independent living allowance but I don't know if the local council and indeed my employer are allowed to disclose personnel information on this email account as it is a none purchased free to setup account . Also in the email she sent me they accused my partner of obtaining recognition as a government official under false pretences . please could you advise
thanks
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. Was there a specific policy at work restricting your or other people's use of this account or placing specific requirements on how you are to use it? Also how long have you worked there for?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi it is vague policy on the restrictions of email use we agreed that it should only be used for work purposes but accidents do happen .But surly because it is a free account in my name and details i have the right to use it personally? I've been working there for 4yrs come June
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
There is an argument that this is a personal email but at the same time it would depend who set it up and who has control over it, together with the purposes for which it was used. A work-based email will still have your name and details but it would have been set up by the employer and they will have control over it and it would be used for work purposes so it will be treated as a work email and can be subject to certain restrictions. The same could apply to free-based email providers such as this one. Nevertheless, I think the allegations are somewhat over the top, especially the one concerning your wife obtaining recognition as a government official under false pretence. As far as the law is concerned, it is a common occurrence in the workplace for employers to monitor the email and internet use of their employees. However, as electronic forms of workplace surveillance involve the processing of personal data, they are activities that will be regulated by the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA). In addition, the employer would need to adhere to the duty to preserve the mutual trust and confidence, a term which is implied into every employment contract. The DPA lists a number of principles which must be adhered to when personal data is being processed. These include:· obtaining the data fairly and lawfully;· informing employees of the types of monitoring that are being used;· using the data obtained from monitoring only for a specific purpose;· limiting the data to adequate and relevant data; and· not holding the data for longer than necessary. As long as the rules are clear, the employee knew that monitoring was taking place and the information gathered as part of the monitoring is used for the purposes for which it was initially obtained then it is legally for the employer to do so. At this stage it is just a suspension, no indication of guilt, so see how far they take it. If it goes to a disciplinary you can defend it and appeal any formal outcome. I hope this has answered your query. I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating (3, 4 or 5 stars) as that is an important part of our process and recognises the time I have spent assisting you. If you need me to clarify anything before you go - please get back to me on here and I will assist further as best as I can. Thank you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
OK thank you I have a disciplinary meet on Tuesday the15/02/16 so I will wait until then for any outcome and if needed get back to you.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
yes of course. If your original question has been answered I would be grateful if you could please quickly rate my answer by selecting 3, 4 or 5 starts at the top of the page - it only takes a second to do and is an important part of our process. I can still answer follow up questions afterwards if needed. Thank you
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