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Disciplinary - help!!

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I'd appreciate any advice / experience people may have on this one.


Just over a week ago I was suspended for sending "company confidential" information to my home e-mail address. I was in a consultation period for redundancy and the information was referred to in internal job adverts, and I wanted to print it and read it - I was working from home and you can't use your home printer on the work computer.


The documents in question aren't customer / financial information etc. in fact I'm still confused what exactly "company confidential" is, as the docs don't fit the guidance in a responsibilities thing we have to attest to every year.


I think this is the end of a long campaign to get me out and on the cheap at that, I was sick earlier this year (depression) and on doctor's advice have not been able to adapt to changes manager was demanding. Redundancy then this seems all too convenient.


My view is that I wasn't aware of the confidential nature of these documents and that they shouldn't be sent to personal e-mail. I haven't shared with anyone else and when I learned of the breach I deleted the mails straight away from my personal e-mail and computer - and have offered that the company can check this for themselves (if that's possible, I'm no IT expert).


I suppose you could say I could have been more careful, should never send company e-mails to personal e-mails etc. Please don't say this - noone knows it better than me already - with the benefit of hindsight !!


I'm terrified I'm going to get sacked or have a mark on my record for human error at a time of extreme pressure (I was facing losing my job).


I've been through an investigation and am awaiting next steps from employer.


Any views?

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A couple of questions


What exactly was the 'confidential' information involved? Would it be obvious that the information should remain on the premises?


Is there any clause within your contract, or within an employee handbook as to what constitutes confidential information?

Any advice given is done so on the assumption that recipients will also take professional advice where appropriate.






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I don't think it would be obvious, no. I would have the right to review them as part of my normal work, and as long as I didn't share them with anyone else, I thought that would be OK.


The company seems to take a different view. What I sent were policies but they're fairly generic i.e. "do this do that every 3 months" - no trade secrets, customer information or anything like that.

"Confidential information" is defined in the Staff Handbook as anything the company deems as confidential and states it shouldn't be copied or shared except for the benefit of the company. I would have thought an employee seeking to avoid redundancy would have been beneficial to the company. The other trouble is, loads of people copy templates with that on so in practice it's hard to tell what has been registered or whatever. In another place confidential is defined as customer or financial data. In short it's hellishly confusing, I didn't think about it at the time, and I'm still a bit confused having had my error pointed out to me - although I won't ever send any mail at all to or from my personal account in future and will be swotting up on policies!!

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