IT EQUIPMENT - ISSUE AND USE


Merlin Supply Chain Solutions Limited will issue Apprentices with Tablet to complete their studies.  This is a personal issue for the duration of the Apprenticeship and on completion of the Apprenticeship, or if the Apprentice leaves the programme early, will return the Tablet to Merlin Supply Chain Solutions in the condition in which it was received.

Should the Apprentice lose or damage the tablet then they will liable for the cost of its replacement.  In such cases, Merlin Supply Chain Solutions will invoice the Apprentices employer for the full cost of replacement.  

Where available Merlin Supply Chain Solutions Limited makes internet access available to the Apprentices where relevant and useful for their studies. This internet use policy describes the rules governing internet use. It also sets out how Apprentices and staff members are expected to behave when using the internet.

This policy should be read alongside other key policies. The company’s data protection and email policies are particularly relevant to Apprentices and staff who use the internet.

WHY THIS POLICY EXISTS:
The internet is a powerful tool that can bring significant benefits to Apprentices and staff members. However, it’s important every person who uses the internet understands how to use it responsibly, safely and legally.

This internet use policy:
  • Reduces the online security risks faced by Merlin Supply Chain Solutions
  • Lets Apprentices and staff know what they can and can’t do online
  • Ensures employees do not view inappropriate content at work
  • Helps the company satisfy its legal obligations regarding internet use
 
POLICY SCOPE:
This policy applies to all Apprentices, staff, contractors and volunteers at Merlin Supply Chain Solutions or those who use the company’s internet on work time. It applies no matter whether that internet access takes place on company premises, while travelling for business or while working from home.

It applies to use of the internet on any device that is owned by the company, or that is connected to any company networks or systems.
For example, it applies both to an Apprentice or employee using the internet in their workplace, training environment or indeed in a vehicle, whether the connection is made via a company issued equipment or own tablets or smart phones to the company wireless network.

INTERNET USE IS ENCOURAGED:
Merlin Supply Chain Solutions Limited recognises that the internet is an integral part of learning. It therefore encourages its learners, Apprentices and Staff to use the internet whenever such use supports the learners goals and objectives.

For instance, staff members may use the internet to:
  • Connect to Knowledge Resource Areas
  • Connect to e-portfolios
  • Connect to Functional Skills resources
  • General learning research

There are many other valid reasons for using the internet as part of learning and you are certainly encouraged to do so and take advantage of the internet’s many advantages.

PERSONEL INTERNET USE:
The company also recognises that the internet is embedded in many people’s daily lives. As such, it allows Apprentices, Learners and employees to use the internet for personal reasons, with the following stipulations:
  • Personal internet use should be of a reasonable level and restricted to non- work times, such as breaks and during lunch.
  • All rules described in this policy apply equally to personal internet use. For instance, inappropriate content is always inappropriate, no matter whether it is being accessed for business or personal reasons.
  • Personal internet use must not affect the internet service available to other people in the company. For instance, downloading large files could slow access for other employees.
 
AUTHORISED USERS:
Only people who have been authorised to use the internet may do so.

Authorisation is usually provided by an employee’s line manager or the company IT department. It is typically granted when a new employee joins the company and is assigned their login details for the company IT systems.

Unauthorised use of the company’s internet connection is prohibited.

Employees who use the internet without authorisation — or who provide access to unauthorised people — may have disciplinary action taken against them.

INTERNET SECURITY:
Used unwisely, the internet can be a source of security problems that can do significant damage to the company’s data and reputation.

  • Users must not knowingly introduce any form of computer virus, Trojan, spyware or other malware into the company.
  • Employees must not gain access to websites or systems for which they do not have authorisation, either within the business or outside it.
  • Company data should only be uploaded to and shared via approved services. The IT department can advise on appropriate tools for sending and sharing large amounts of data.
  • Employees must not steal, use, or disclose someone else’s login or password without authorisation.
 
Staff members must always consider the security of the company’s systems and data when using the internet. If required, help and guidance is available from line managers and the company IT department.

INAPPROPRIATE CONTENT AND USES:
There are many sources of inappropriate content and materials available online. It is important for employees to understand that viewing or distributing inappropriate content is not acceptable under any circumstances.
 
Users must not:
  • Take part in any activities on the internet that could bring yourself, the programme Merlin Supply Chain Solutions or your company into disrepute.
  • Create or transmit material that might be defamatory or incur liability for yourself, the programme Merlin Supply Chain Solutions or your company.
  • View, download, create or distribute any inappropriate content or material.
 
Inappropriate content includes: pornography, racial or religious slurs, gender-specific comments, information encouraging criminal skills or terrorism, or materials relating to cults, gambling and illegal drugs.

This definition of inappropriate content or material also covers any text, images or other media that could reasonably offend someone on the basis of race, age, sex, religious or political beliefs, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, or any other characteristic protected by law.

  • Use the internet for any illegal or criminal activities.
  • Send offensive or harassing material to others.
  • Broadcast unsolicited personal views on social, political, religious or other non-business related matters.
  • Send or post messages or material that could damage yours, the programme Merlin Supply Chain Solutions or your company’s image or reputation.
 
COPYRIGHT:
Merlin Supply Chain Solutions respects and operates within copyright laws. Users may not use the internet to:

  • Publish or share any copyrighted software, media or materials owned by third parties, unless permitted by that third party.
  • Download illegal copies of music, films, games or other software, whether via filesharing services or other technologies.
 
Employees must not use the company’s equipment, software or internet connection to perform any tasks which may involve breach of copyright law.

MONITORING INTERNET USE:
Company IT and internet resources — including computers, smart phones and internet connections — are provided for legitimate Apprenticeship, Learning and Educational use.

The company therefore reserves the right to monitor use of the internet, to examine systems and review the data stored in those systems.

Any such examinations or monitoring will only be carried out by authorised staff.

Additionally, all internet data written, sent or received through the company’s IT, Internet systems is part of official Company records. The company can be legally compelled to show that information to law enforcement agencies or other parties.

Users should always ensure that the business information sent over or uploaded to the internet is accurate, appropriate, ethical, and legal.

POTENTIAL SANCTIONS:
Knowingly breaching this internet use policy is a serious matter. Users who do so may be subject to their company’s disciplinary procedures, up to and including termination of employment.

Apprentices, Learners, Employees, Contractors and other users may also be held personally liable for violating this policy.
 
Where appropriate, the company will involve the police or other law enforcement agencies in relation to breaches of this policy.
 
 
 
 
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Policy became operational on: 02/09/2018
Next review date: 02/09/2019



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