Legal, Ethical and Operational Issues

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P5 Explain the legal and ethical issues in relation to the use of business information

Definition: Ethics concern an individual's moral judgments about right and wrong. Explanation: Business information belongs to the business owner and any kind of use of the business related information should be used as per the company policy. There are legal consequences in breaking the rules (code of conduct & code of practice). Staff member needs to use his/her ethical judgement to decide what is right or wrong. Scenario – Update of Staff Handbook on ethical and legal issues in relation to the use of business information. Illegal, inappropriate or unacceptable use of school equipment or communication systems may result in disciplinary action and in serious cases could lead to an employee's dismissal. This list is not exhaustive and includes;

● creating, sending or forwarding any message that would reasonably be considered inappropriate or unacceptable. (E.g. anything non related to school) ● Committing or implying commitment to any contractual arrangements ● Accessing, publication or circulation of illegal, offensive, unacceptable, inappropriate or non-work related material ● Any illegal activities

● posting confidential information about the school and/or other employees, children or parents ● gambling or gaming
● unauthorised use of school facilities (or employee's personal IT equipment), for personal use during employee's working time

Employees receiving inappropriate communication or material or who are unsure about whether something he/she proposes to do might breach this policy should seek advice from their Head teacher. The school has the right to monitor e-mails, phone-calls, internet activity or document production, principally in order to avoid offensive or nuisance material and to protect systems from viruses, but also to ensure proper and effective use of systems. Communication systems may be accessed when the school suspects that the employee has been misusing systems or facilities, or for the investigation of suspected fraud or other irregularity.

12. Social networking websites. School employees must not access social networking websites for personal use (e.g. Facebook) during work time. Access to some journals, blogs and social networking sites is permitted during work time for the purposes of undertaking job related duties only. School employees must act in the best interests of the school and not disclose personal data or information about any individual including staff, young people or children. This includes images. Access may be withdrawn and disciplinary action taken if there is a breach of confidentiality or defamatory remarks are made about the school, staff, young people or children.

The school respects an employee's private life. However, it must also ensure that confidentiality and its reputation are protected. Employees using social networking websites in their private life; 1. Must refrain from identifying themselves as working for the school, in a way which has, or may have, the effect of bringing the school into disrepute. 2. Must not identify other school employees, children or young people without their consent. 3. Must not make any defamatory remarks about the school, it's employees, children or young people, or conduct themselves in a way that is detrimental to the school. 4. Disclose personal data or information about the school, employees, children or young people, that could breach the Data Protection Act 1998, for example, posting photographs or images of children or young people. 5. Must not allow pupils to access their personal social networking accounts and where they are contacted by a pupil they should bring it to the Head teacher’s attention.

13. Personal Websites and Blogs
Employees who wish to set up personal web forums, weblogs or 'blogs' must do so outside of work, not...
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