IT manager fired for lunchtime Web surfing

16 June 1999

It was five years ago today... The moral of today's blast from the past is this: if you do have a couple of spare minutes at work between fielding phone and mobile calls, answering SMSes or responding to the 10,000 or so emails each and every one of us receives every day, then don't spend them surfing the Net:

IT manager fired for lunchtime Web surfing

By Tim Richardson
Published Wednesday 16th June 1999 09:33 GMT

An IT manager has been sacked for surfing the Web during her lunch hour. Lois Franxhi lost her tribunal in Liverpool yesterday after her employer said she used the company's resources to scour the Net in search of cheap holidays. Franxhi maintained she was sacked by Focus Management Consultants in Cheshire because she told them she was pregnant.

The tribunal heard how Franxhi used her office PC to make around 150 personal searches on the Net when she should have been working instead. But Franxhi claimed she surfed the Web for just 111 minutes over a four-day period - the equivalent of just two lunch breaks, she said. "It's outrageous and unfair to be sacked for [surfing the Web] for such a small amount of time," Franxhi was quoted as saying in the Daily Telegraph.

Believed to be the first case of its kind in the UK, the tribunal decided that Franxhi's personal use of her office computer made her guilty of misconduct. It was also revealed that she had been warned a few weeks earlier about the misuse of office stamps. Last month Rolls Royce sacked five people at its Bristol office for using its corporate network for sending "grossly offensive" hardcore porn.


Misuse of stamps? Surfing the Web? People have been hanged for less. ®

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