The purpose of this policy is to ensure the proper use of Impact Environmental’s (hereinafter referred to as Company) email system and make the users (defined below) aware of what the Company deems as acceptable and unacceptable use of its email system. This policy also provides for sanctions in cases of breach of violation of the policy terms.
This policy applies to the use of the Company’s email services by the users at the Company’s offices, as well as remote locations, including, but not limited to, the users’ homes, airports, hotels, and client offices.
All company employees, full-time or part-time, independent contractors, interns, consultants, clients, and other third parties who have been granted the right to use the Company’s email services are defined as the users for the purpose of this policy.
- Email Accounts are the Property of the Company
All email accounts maintained on the Company’s email systems are property of the Company/ Company has the right to read and keep a record of any emails that users transmit via the Company’s email system.
- Authorized Personal Email Use
Although the Company’s email system is meant only for business use, the Company allows the reasonable use of email for personal use subject to the following guidelines:
- Personal emails must also adhere to the guidelines in this policy;
- On average, users are not allowed to send more than the number of personal emails a day as fixed by the Company;
- Unacceptable use of Email
The following acts shall constitute unacceptable use of the email system of the Company:
- Use of the Company’s communications systems for a personal business or send chain letters;
- Forwarding of the Company’s confidential messages to external locations;
- Distributing, disseminating or storing images, text, or materials that might be considered indecent, pornographic, obscene, or illegal;
- Distributing, disseminating or storing images, text, or materials that might be considered discriminatory, offensive or abusive, in that the context is a personal attack sexist or racist, or might be considered harassment;
- Accessing copyrighted information in a way that violates the copyright;
- Breaking into the Company’s or another organization’s system or unauthorized use of a password/mailbox;
- Broadcasting unsolicited personal views on social, political, religious, or other non-business related matters;
- Using e-mail to operate another business, conduct an external job search, or solicit money for personal gain;
- Transmitting unsolicited commercial or advertising material;
- Undertaking deliberate activities that waste staff effort or networked resources;
- Introducing any form of computer virus or malware into the Company’s network;
- Legal Risks Involved
Email is a business communication tool and the users are obligated to use this tool in a responsible, effective, and lawful manner. Therefore, it is important that users are aware of the following legal risks of e-mail. Both the user and the Company can be held liable for:
- Sending emails with any libelous, defamatory, offensive, racist or obscene remarks;
- Forwarding emails with any libelous, defamatory, offensive, racist or obscene remarks;
- Unlawfully forwarding confidential information of others;
- Copyright infringement for unlawfully forwarding or copying messages without permission;
- Sending an attachment that contains a virus
The above list does not enumerate all the legal risks involved. However, by following the guidelines provided in this policy, the users can minimize the legal risks involved in the use of e-mail. If any user disregards the rules set out in this Email Policy, the Company can take corrective action up to and including termination of employment.
- Best Practices
The Company considers email an important means of communication and recognizes the importance of appropriate email content and prompt replies in conveying a professional image and delivering good customer service. Therefore, the Company institutes the following guidelines for users to adhere to:
a) Writing Emails
- All email messages sent from/to Company addresses should be professional and appropriate;
- Write well-structured emails and use short, descriptive subjects;
- The use of internet abbreviations and characters such as emojis is not encouraged;
- Signatures are mandatory and created for you;
- Use spell check before you send out an email;
- Do not send unnecessary attachments. Compress larger attachments before sending them;
- Do not write emails in capitals;
- If you forward e-mails, state clearly what action you would like the recipient to take;
- Only mark emails as important if they really are important;
b) Replying to Emails
- Emails that require a reply should be answered at the earliest possible time;
- Prioritize emails from existing customers and business partners;
- Subscribe to a newsletter or newsgroup only if it directly relates to the nature of your job;
- Manage preferences and unsubscribe from newsgroups filling your inbox;
- Email passwords should not be given to other people and should be changed periodically;
- Email accounts not used for a long period will be deactivated and possibly deleted;
- Delete any email messages that you do not need to have a copy of, and set your email client to automatically empty your deleted items after a number of days;
- Business Record Retention Policy
Email messages are written business records and are subject to the Company’s rules and policies relating to retaining and deleting business records.
- Confidential Information
Avoid seeding confidential information by email. Unless authorized to do so, the users are prohibited from using email to transmit confidential information to outside parties. Users may not access, send, receive, solicit, print, copy, or reply to confidential or proprietary information about the Company, its employees, clients, and other business associates.
Confidential information includes, but is not limited to:
- Client lists;
- Credit card numbers;
- Social security numbers;
- Employee performance reviews;
- Salary details;
- Trade secrets;
- Any other proprietary information that the Company and its associates would be impacted if the information were disclosed to the public;
- System Monitoring
Email messages created and transmitted via the Company’s email system are the property of the Company. The Company reserves the right to monitor all emails transmitted via the Company’s email system. Employees have no reasonable expectation of privacy when it comes to business and personal use of the Company’s email system.
- Violations and Sanctions
If an employee is found to violate any of the email policy rules, the Company could take disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment.
The actual penalty applied will depend on factors such as the seriousness of the breach, the employee’s disciplinary record, and any other factors the Company deems necessary to consider.
If an employee witnesses email policy abuse, they are required to report the incident immediately to the Human Resource Manager.
- Amendment of Policy
The Company reserves the right to amend this policy at its discretion. In case of amendments, users will be informed appropriately.
If you have any questions or comments about this email policy, please contact the Human Resources Manager. If you do not have any questions, the Company presumes that you understand and are aware of the rules and guidelines in this email policy and will adhere to them.