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Friday 23 March 2018

Slipping through the net: how one quick click can send a career offline

Shane Hickey

IT is a quick click that can signal the end of a job.

Coupled with the rapid rise of the internet over the last decade has been a vigilance among many employers about how their staff use the web.

In one of the most famous incidents of internet misuse in 2004, Michael Soden resigned from his position as chief executive of Bank of Ireland after he was found to have accessed an escort agency website from his office terminal.

The banker has come back to prominence recently after he was appointed to the Central Bank Commission and published his first book.

In general, however, the immediate dismissal from a position is not watertight.

In 2003, a staff member at a financial services firm in Dublin was fired for an apparent breach of an email policy.

The person took a claim for unfair dismissal against the company and won more than €20,000 in compensation largely on the basis that his former employer's internet and email policy did not explicitly state that misuse of these tools was gross misconduct and could result in dismissal.

Recent years have seen firms introduce strict guidelines on how to use the internet and email.

Some human resources managers have been known to look at prospective job candidates' Facebook pages prior to interview to see if there is anything they should beware of in their private life.

Irish Independent

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