We received a letter addressed to a former employee, who parted ways with the company in bad terms.
The letter is obviously business related and pertinent to the company (located in NI).
Is it OK to open it? That is, without asking neither the former employee nor the senders for permission. Asking the former employee has the additional disadvantage that that would make him aware of the existence of the letter and he would probably not authorise us to open is.
Out of sight, out of mind, right? That would certainly work, but we can't be 100% that the whole issue will be kept out of sight, since other employees could be blabbermouth/sneaks. So, we'd like to proceed in a legal way.
In general, is it OK to open letters addressed to employees, if you can safely assume it's not private? Is this bad management style or outright illegal?