One of our employees has added a personal email signature with religious connotations onto their email – “Helping Hands Are Better Than Praying Lips”
This phrase seems to be widely attributed to Mother Theresa. Whilst on the face of it, it is well meaning, if uncontrolled it is not hard to see that messages of this type could easily give offence and therefore attract a possible harassment claim on grounds of religion or belief (if there was a recipient in the UK).
How do you differentiate between a ‘good’ (i.e. well-meaning) message (here assuming it is religious in nature) and a ‘bad’ message (let's say political, or against the gay community).
The best approach is to treat this within an overall policy for use of IT equipment or email, which might lay down that:
email footers are reserved for expressions of a company’s policy and only footers endorsed by the company may be used.
Personal email footers are prohibited, unless prior approval has been requested and granted.
Any abuse of policy can lead to disciplinary action and may be treated as g gross misconduct.