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Email and Net abuse at work have become the number one reason why UK employees face the sack, according to a survey out today.

Research by London solicitors KLegal and Personnel Today magazine found that disciplinary cases in the last 12 months for email and Net abuse at work exceeded those for dishonesty, violence, and health & safety breaches put together.

Some 212 firms took part in the survey in June. Over the last year they've taken disciplinary action in 358 cases for email or Net abuse. That's compared to 326 cases as a result of dishonesty, violence and breaches in health & safety regulations.

Almost two thirds of dismissals from cases of email and Net abuse stemmed from accessing or distributing porno. The survey also found that employees are nearly ten times more likely to be dismissed for sending a XXX email than they are for sending an email which may damage the company's reputation.

Noel O'Reilly, editor of Personnel Today, said: "This survey shows that the Internet and email are now causing more disciplinary problems than anything else. Employers must respond by communicating clearly to staff what is acceptable use of the Internet and what is not."

The survey found that one in ten companies has a complete ban on using the Internet at work, while three in ten firms forbid its use during working hours. ®

STOP PRESS

The Beeb's been on the blower and is looking for more help with a TV series it's running in the autumn about email.

The BBC's series Emails you wish you hadn't sent! is still on the lookout for tales of email horror.

If you - or someone you know - has been disciplined or sacked for using email "on work time" then please get in touch with them at emailtrouble@bbc.co.uk

Who knows, you might end up on telly.

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