Almost all the 70 staff suspended in connection with the "offensive" emails of Bart Simpson in a sexual clinch at the offices of Royal & Sun Alliance were told Thursday they will not be getting the sack after all.
Ten employees at the insurance company were fired last week after a disciplinary hearing. An investigation began following the Christmas period when emails containing inappropriate material were sent out.
Paul Atkinson, head of communications at Royal & Sun Alliance, says the suspensions and sackings were the result of serious misconduct. "We believe the material was unacceptable and capable of causing serious offence," he says.
Atkinson says that the majority of suspended employees have been reinstated with a written warning.
Some of the dismissed workers are to appeal the decision. Atkinson says that no single email message caused the sackings and the decision to sack some employees and not others was based on the amount of material forwarded and the nature of that material.
"We have adopted a consistent policy," he says.
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