Yesterday I received an unexpected response from Scarborough Borough Council (SBC) in reply to the concerns I raised in relation to their Duty Of Care to employees working from home.
“Due to the IT risks and security issues which can arise from following links in emails from sources external to the Council, we no longer accept correspondence and/or complaints where details are provided in this manner.”
Why would a Local Authority not embrace modern communication?
How can a Borough Council possibly function under such arrangements?
Do the Government, North Yorkshire County Council, North Yorkshire Police, the NHS etc.. never forward links to SBC?
Would this suggest that SBC does not have adequate security built into their system to prevent a cyber attack?
It would not be appropriate for me to second guess the reason behind this unusual policy of SBC without first having sight of the policy.
I have submitted a Freedom of Information request to SBC for a copy of the policy and any other information held in relation to “Due to the IT risks and security issues which can arise from following links in emails from sources external to the Council, we no longer accept correspondence and/or complaints where details are provided in this manner.”
SBC Director of Legal & Democratic Services Lisa Dixon & Chief Executive Mike Greene
The SBC employee who originally contacted me with their concerns has today been informed of the following:
“The UK Health and Safety Executive along with insurance companies will expect you to perform PAT testing to ensure that you are compliant with certain regulations including:
- Health and Safety at Work Act of 1974
- The Electricity at Work Regulations of 1989
- The Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations of 1998
- The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations of 1999
Not complying with the above mentioned regulations can result in fines up to £5,000 and/or six months imprisonment. Fines have been seen to go as high as £20,000 and offences heard in the Crown Court have carried sentences of more than 2 years imprisonment in addition to unlimited financial penalties.”
Understandably this has caused the employee further concern and they are keen to ensure that their working from home complies with all legal requirements.
In an attempt to ensure all SBC employees are working from home in a lawful manner, I have sent a cut-and-paste of yesterday’s post and also this post to SBC.
Hopefully, the opinion of a friend that SBC is merely playing delaying tactics will prove incorrect.