Four FNB employees were dismissed for making disparaging comments about DA leader Mmusi Maimane and his wife in a Whatsapp conversation and emails on devices owned by the bank.
Gontse Rapulana-Seakamela, Chief Executive and Legal Officer, Peer Influence SA says it is permissible for a company to monitor its employees' conversations to the extent that it is done within the ambit of the law.
He says the Rica law does provide business the right to intercept business communication provided that they get prior consent or give notification to the employees.
This can be done through policy, contract terms of employment or be communicated verbally, says Rapulana-Seakamela.
If you don't raise your hand and say you are not going to oblige to that, the law takes that you have agreed to those terms and conditions and that you are aware that in the course of employment they will be looking through your communications.— Gontse Rapulana-Seakamela, Chief Executive and Legal Officer, Peer Influence SA
Rapulana-Seakamela says the company should let its employees know of this law. But, he adds, even if they don't inform staff, but the policy is stipulated in the contract of employment, the employees then cannot use it as defence.
702's Bongani Bingwa spoke to two of the four dismissed employees Siphesihle Jele and Simon Masimule.
Jele and Masimule say that FNB developed the policy on communication after they raised issues of lack of transformations within the business.
There's not even a single email that was sent using the company's property after they have developed the policy.— Siphesihle Jele, former FNB employee
Jele says the person who sent the email about Mmusi Maimane is still employed by FNB.
The policies that are there by the company should be consistent policies that are applicable for everyone across the board irrespective of the position you hold.— Simon Masimule, former FNB employee
To hear the rest of the interview, listen below: