When it doesn’t go alright on the night…

16 Mar 2017

The recent Oscars debacle over the announcement of the winner of the Best Picture award, provoked a variety of views and emotions. 

On the one hand there was the fulsome, arguably disproportionate, apology from PwC about the mistake that had been made. No lives had been lost, and no person endangered. Nevertheless, the firm clearly felt the need to explain and apologise wholeheartedly. On the other was the public ‘outing’ of the two employees involved in handling the envelopes at the ceremony. While it appears they haven’t been fired, the clear statement has been made that they would not work on the Oscars ceremony again. 

What this incident highlights is the growing concern of many organisations around reputation management, and the fact that the people working within the organisation are often the greatest risk. That factor is becoming increasingly accepted in relation to IT security given that around 80% of data breaches are committed by employees and others ‘inside’ the business, rather than external cyber or other attack.

That has led to the proliferation of IT Usage policies, fitting in somewhere between those dealing with ‘Absence at Work’ and those on ‘Working Remotely’.

May be all that this year’s Oscars shows is that human mistake can never be eradicated; that no system or process can be failsafe.

In the employment context, a single instance of getting something wrong, or failing to do something can be grounds for the instant dismissal of an employee.

Whether that is the right course and does any more than penalise the individual will depend on a variety of factors. 

Or maybe the reports that the PwC employee might have been tweeting backstage merely demonstrates the need for more effective policies on social media usage while at work!

 For more information on ensuring your HR policies are in shape, please contact:


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