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Porn downloads on the increase

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Britain has become the fastest growing market for internet porn in the world – with women as well as men visiting the adult-only sites, according to a recent survey.

The problem for companies is that an increasing number of downloads are taking place in the office.

But employment lawyers are warning that companies must take steps to show that any disciplinary action is within the context of clear guidelines.

Mark Higgins, head of employment at national law firm Betesh Fox, said: “As the internet becomes an indispensable business tool the number of cases of conduct dismissals related to employees accessing inappropriate material is rising.

“However, employers must have regard to principles of fairness which underlie dismissals procedures. It is advisable to adopt an internet policy which sets out the parameters of acceptable internet use together with a clear indication as to how breaches of the policy will be treated.

“All employees should be directed to the policy and, if necessary, requested to provide written acknowledgement before being granted access.”

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