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The HR Risks of Not Having a Social Media Policy

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If one of your staff members wrote on Facebook “First day back from holiday, I’m so bored of this dull job” or “Just out of a client meeting with ABC Co, they have no idea how to run their business!” could you dismiss them and, most importantly, avoid an unfair dismissal case?

If you’re unsure – you need a Social Media Policy.

As you probably know social media, the term used to describe websites and tools like Twitter and Facebook, has exploded in popularity recently but creates you yet another employment law risk – and has the potential to seriously damage your business reputation too.

FBSupport, a fixed fee employment law service our team developed over three years ago, provides numerous documents INCLUDING a social media policy which outlines your legal rights as an employer and your options for dealing with staff abusing social media tools.

To show how this problem could affect you below are three examples of real social media problems – do you know how to manage these legally and reduce the risk of creating an unfair dismissal case against you?

  • Your staff member has added numerous business contacts and clients onto his/her LinkedIn profile and now tells you he/she is leaving to join a competitor.
  • Your staff member has a disagreement with a client and, from home and outside of their contractual hours, makes inappropriate remarks about them on Facebook. Although your staff member does not actually name the client he/she does name you as their employer. The client later finds the remarks and makes a complaint to you.
  • Out of contractual working hours one of your staff members posts a light-hearted comment on Twitter about a co-workers sexuality? The co-worker later complains to you.

The only way to protect you business from these and many other types of social media abuse is to develop a Social Media Policy. The important thing is to act now. Social media is growing and so is the number of problems and costs it is creating for businesses.

Members of FBSupport can click here to logon to the members website where the social media policy can be found and downloaded as part of the staff handbook.

Not a member yet? Register for FBSupport and get access to your ready to use Social Media Policy as well as over 60 downloadable, up to date documents, policies and guides to assist you with compliance in your business.

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