Risking a Criminal Record for Misusing Confidential Information
Employers will always be concerned about employees removing their confidential information, such as client lists or business plans, by using personal email accounts, memory sticks or old fashioned photocopying. Firewalls, password protection and computer use policies can only take an employer so far in preventing this happening.
Removal of the information may come to light in various ways, perhaps via a routine check by the employer’s IT team, or by the ex-employee’s new employer contacting the old employer’s client list. The company is at greatest risk in the period prior to an employee’s resignation – after receiving the resignation it can protect itself by enforcing garden leave clauses and restricting the employee’s access to systems.