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Neil Hammerton, CEO of Natterbox

New FSA rules could see private mobile phones banned from the workplace, says Natterbox

New changes to FSA regulation on the use of mobile phones and electronic devices, may mean that many FSA-regulated businesses may be forced to ban private devices from the workplace, according to mobile voice provider Natterbox.

New legislation, which comes into effect on 14th November 2011, means that FSA-regulated companies will have to: comply with the new regulation to ensure that all business-related voice calls and SMS or TXT communications are recorded, stored for up to six months and are available under warrant within a reasonable timeframe if required; and ensure that ‘relevant communications’ do not take place on private non-compliant devices.

Working with a supplier like Natterbox would enable companies to easily and cost effectively comply with part one of this directive. However, part two is the more difficult part to enforce and according to Natterbox may leave companies with the more difficult options of either completely banning the use of personal devices for business use, or, appropriating personal devices used by employees for work use.

According to Neil Hammerton (pictured), CEO of Natterbox: “Companies need to protect themselves and their employees from potential fines, or worse, prosecution; because, in the FSA’s own policy wording, “what constitutes ‘reasonable steps’ is fundamentally principals-based.

"Therefore, regulated businesses should go above and beyond in a bid to be safe and not sorry, and banning mobile phones completely in the workplace may be the only way to effectively achieve this.”

In a white paper issued by Natterbox on the subject of the FSA’s change in regulation regarding mobile phone taping, which covers both call and TXT communications, this is examined in more detail as well as the key factors and impact of this changing legislation on all FSA-regulated businesses.

Whether a business chooses to completely ban personal devices for business use or considers appropriation of personal devices used by employees for work use, Hammerton suggests that organisations need to reflect their chosen policy with updated corporate conduct, acceptable usage policies and employment contracts that explicitly relate to the new rules.

However, he warns that: “changing policy is not enough, and every business needs to adequately demonstrate how they are educating their workforce on the new policies and how they are monitoring the enforcement of the rules. Measures like that should go a long way towards demonstrating reasonable steps and therefore help mitigate liability, should it arise.”

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