01332 340 211

Social media policy: The HR risks of not having a social media policy

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? 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.

Flint Bishop offer a fixed fee employment law service and document bank that contains numerous documents and includes 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 your business from these and many other types of social media abuse are 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.

For more information, please contact our Employment & HR team on 01332 340 211.

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