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The Legal Column - July 2012

31 July 2012

The experts at Workplace Law address your legislative and compliance issues.

Corporate information security policies
Q: When a new employee joins, as part of their induction they sign various paperwork including the Health and Safety Policy, handbook etc. We also ask them to sign a CISP (Corporate Information Security Policy), which is a document that states our do's and don'ts regarding computer / email / internet use and acceptable use etc. Is there a legal requirement to get employees to sign this on an annual basis?
A: There is no legal requirement. If you feel that you might take disciplinary action against employees at some point because they are deemed to have breached this policy, then it may be wise to remind all employees about its existence on an annual basis. Otherwise the fact you can show that it was pointed out to them at induction, and they signed to say they had seen it, will help to indicate that an employee was fully aware of the policy.

Q: We have recently created a lot of space in the office, which means we can now store our archived boxes on site. We have carried out a fire risk assessment and have a fire management plan. The archiving room does not have fire detectors in the room but there are fire detectors in the hall leading to the room. Can we store our archive boxes on site and do we need to have fire detectors in the room?

A: It is not illegal to store archiving boxes on site, but according to Part 1, Article 4 of the Regulatory Reform Order 2005 you must have measures in place to:

  • reduce risk of fire on premises;
  • reduce risk of fire spread on premises;
  • ensure means of escape (MOE);
  • ensure MOE can be safely and effectively used; and
  • mitigate the effects of a fire.
I would suggest you check the means of fire detection and warning within the vicinity where the items are stored, which includes a full appreciation of all the elements that contribute to fire safety and fire engineering on your particular site.

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