Mobile Telephone Policy

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1 Mobile Telephone Policy 1. Introduction The purpose of this policy is to: (i) (ii) facilitate the effective management of Council mobile telephone utilisation specify guidelines for the appropriate use of mobile telephone resources and indicate acceptable and unacceptable behaviour in relation to their use. (iii) reduce risks, safeguard employees, protect Council assets and ensure compliance with appropriate legislation. This includes the use of mobile telephones whilst (i) driving Council vehicles or (ii) driving a privately owned vehicle for Council business. 2.0 Scope 2.1 The policy applies to anyone who has access to a mobile telephone provided by the Council. 2.2 The policy applies to anyone who drives a Council vehicle, or drives a privately owned vehicle for Council business. SECTION A: HEALTH AND SAFETY 3.0 Council Duty 3.1 Antrim Borough Council recognises its duty to provide employees with a safe working environment, and is committed to taking all reasonably practicable measures to ensure the safety of staff, and of others that they come into contact with whilst working. 3.2 The following points summarise the key health and safety issues relating to mobile phone use which driving: Legislation/Research 1. Driving whilst using a hand-held mobile phone is illegal and individuals can be prosecuted for using a hands-free mobile phone if this results in failure to have proper control of a vehicle. Council Policy Antrim Borough Council strictly prohibits employees from making and receiving mobile telephone calls while driving on Council business. It is recommended that mobile phones be switched off whilst driving for Council business and calls diverted to voic . Page 1 of 8

2 2. Drivers using hands free devices risk prosecution for failing to have proper control of a vehicle under Regulation 120 of The Motor Vehicles (Construction and Use) (Amdt No 5) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2003 as amended. Any driver involved in an accident whilst using a hands free device may face charges of careless or dangerous driving. 3. Several studies have been undertaken to establish how using a mobile phone while driving affects various aspects of driving performance. Even the use of hands free kits has been shown to impair driving performance.. In accordance with guidance from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, no employee shall use a mobile telephone or any similar piece of telecommunications equipment (whether hand-held or hands free) whilst driving on Council business. In view of the legislation and findings from research, Council policy is not to supply or fit hands free kits to employee s cars or Council vehicles. NOTE: In legal terms a person is still driving if the vehicle is stationery but the engine is running. Thus use of mobiles at traffic lights, or if pulled over to the side of the road with the engine running, can still constitute an offence. 4.0 Responsibilities 4.1 Directors Directors are responsible for ensuring that employees within their Department are made aware of this policy, and for ensuring that any alleged breaches of the policy are fully investigated. 4.2 Managers Managers are responsible for ensuring that: They challenge unsafe attitudes and behaviours, encourage employees to drive safely and by personal example by never themselves using a mobile phone whilst driving on Council business. They do not expect employees to answer calls when they are driving on Council business. Work practices do not pressurise employees to use a mobile phone whilst driving. Employees understand their responsibility not to use a hand held or hands free mobile phone whilst driving on Council business. Employees are advised to switch off their mobile phone whilst driving on Council business and divert all calls to voic . Employees plan journeys to include rest stops that will provide an opportunity to check messages and return calls. They carry out periodic checks to ensure that employees are complying with the requirements of this policy. Page 2 of 8

3 Managers are also reminded that it is an offence to cause or permit the use of a hand held mobile phone when driving or to cause or permit a driver not to have proper control of a vehicle. 4.3 Employees Employee s responsibilities are: To be responsible for their health and safety and that of others under the Health and Safety at Work (NI) Order To comply with reasonable workplace safety procedures put into place by their employer, such as this policy, and must take individual responsibility for compliance. To refrain from using a mobile telephone or operate any hands free kit whilst driving on Council business. To switch off mobile phones and direct calls to voice mail whilst driving on Council business. To use the mobile telephone resource provided by the Council in accordance with this policy. To ensure any Council owned mobile telephone is kept secure and not left open to possible theft, and to take all reasonable steps to ensure the safety of the phone. 4.4 Emergency Co-Ordinators (only during an activation of Emergency Plan) whilst driving: There is a special provision for Emergency Co-Ordinators to be contactable in the event of a major incident and to be able to respond to an activation of the Emergency Plan. In view of this the Emergency Co-Ordinators have the following responsibilities: Emergency phone must be switched on at all times Before receiving and making any calls the Emergency Co-Ordinator must park their vehicle safely (as per the Highway Code) and turn off the engine Follow and adhere to controls within the risk assessment documentation. SECTION B: GUIDELINES FOR APPROPRIATE USE AND MANAGEMENT OF MOBILE TELEPHONES 5.0 General Principles 5.1 Mobile telephones are issued for business purposes and for carrying out activities consistent with your responsibilities. 5.2 The administrative arrangements for reimbursement to Council for personal use of the Council provided mobile phone will be as follows:- The personal calls that you make can be tagged and itemised on the bill provided by the network provider. To enable this facility simply add * after the number when you dial: eg personal call * or you can tag voice calls and personal SMS via Page 3 of 8

4 on-line contact list. Once the number has been tagged it will be remembered as a personal number the next time it is dialled. On-line you can tag calls retrospectively and amend earlier tagging decisions. Each month BT will text you a notification message that your monthly bill can be viewed on-line. If you agree with the proposed charge for your personal use a report will be automatically submitted after 15 days to payroll for deduction from your salary. The applicable call tariffs for personal use are detailed on AVIS. Charges for calls tagged with the personal call code will be deducted automatically from salary one month in arrears. Premium rate calls are automatically tagged as personal. 5.3 The use of text services offered with mobile phones is a convenient way to communicate and the same rules apply for the use of these services as for voice calls. Unfortunately these cannot come under the same grouping arrangements and you will be asked to separately identify business related texts. It will otherwise be presumed that all texts are for personal use. 6.0 Procurement 6.1 All additional mobiles must be obtained through Corporate Services. 6.2 To order an additional mobile, written confirmation must be provided by the Director, together with full cost centre codes to which the monthly bills are to be charged. 7.0 Inventory 7.1 Corporate Services maintains a complete list of mobile telephones held by the Council. 7.2 No exchange of SIM Cards between mobiles is permitted without prior notification to Corporate Services. 8 Fault Reporting 8.1 Any user encountering problems with their mobile should report the fault to Corporate Services. 9.0 Loss / Theft 9.1 In the event that a mobile has been lost or stolen employees are required to contact BT Customer Services immediately on and report the loss or theft. Employees should also ask for a complete block to be placed on the phone to ensure that it cannot be used. 9.2 Corporate Services must be advised of the loss/theft at the earliest opportunity and details of the date of the theft/ loss should be provided. 9.3 A replacement handset and SIM car will then be organised. Page 4 of 8

5 SECTION C: POLICY IMPLEMENTATION 10.0 Monitoring 10.1 The policy will be regularly monitored to ensure full compliance Any breach of this policy will be investigated and may result in disciplinary action You should be aware that the Council receives fully itemised records for all mobile telephones. The Council recognises the employees general rights of privacy, but the Council reserves the right to monitor use of business calls where:- It is reasonably justified; and / or There are legitimate reasons for doing so Where the Council has concerns, this matter will be referred to the relevant Director/ Assistant Director, as appropriate As with any Council resource, use of mobile phones may be subject to internal audit as part of a programme of internal audit or if particular concerns arise The Council is responsible for monitoring appropriate use and will assist or carry out any investigation required as a result of any alleged breach of this policy Ownership of Equipment 11.1 The phone, SIM card and all accessories remain the property of the Council and employees must return the equipment on leaving employment Confirmation Forms 12.1 Employees must return a confirmation form, verifying receipt of the policy and acceptance of its terms Breaches of the Policy 13.1 Any breach of this policy will be investigated and may result in disciplinary action Communication 14.1 A copy of this policy can be accessed on AVIS (Council Intranet) Eligibility Page 5 of 8

6 15.1 Mobile phones are issued to employees at the discretion of their line manager and Assistant Director based on the requirements of the post Compliance 16.1 To ensure full compliance with the policy random checks will be carried out 17.0 Review 17.1 This policy will be reviewed every two years. Page 6 of 8

7 MOBILE TELEPHONE POLICY Declaration TO; Corporate Services Section, Antrim Borough Council FROM: (BLOCK CAPITALS) I have received, read and understood the Mobile Telephone Policy and hereby acknowledge receipt of the Council s policy on Mobile Telephones. For the purposes of driving: I understand that I am not permitted to use a hand held mobile phone (either personal or Council owned) to make or receive calls, including texting whilst engaging in Council business I am aware that I must notify the Insurance Officer if endorsements are made to my licence (i.e. due to using a hand held mobile phone whilst driving) I understand that I must adhere to this policy and I agree to the terms and conditions contained therein. Signed: Date: Page 7 of 8

8 Calls Tariffs 24 MONTH CONTRACT TERM WITH NO EQUIPMENT SUPPLIED Monthly Charge Local and National call charge per minute at any time Call charges to T-Mobile customers on the same billing account Call charges to other T-Mobile customers Call charges to other network customers Text message (T-Mobile network in UK) Text message (Other networks in UK) Text message non UK networks Voic retrieval charge CHARGES EX VAT 0.00 per month 3.4p per minute 2.6p per minute 5.1p per minute 14.0p per minute 4.3p per text 4.3p per text 17p per text Free Page 8 of 8

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