April 4, 2019
We participated in Solicitors Chat on Twitter answering questions about social media usage and employment Law, looking at what employers will think about employee posts.
Our Trainee Legal Executive, Lucy Watson, was on hand to provide some much needed guidance.
We’ve set out our answers out below.
- When it comes to employees expressing their opinion online, what can/can’t they say?
You don’t need to allow your job to rule every aspect of your life, but there are some things that it’s probably best not to post on social media if you’d prefer to avoid problems in the workplace. Avoid making negative comments on social media about your job, employer, colleagues or clients.
- What are the potential consequences of saying something online which is seen as damaging to an employer?
Case law shows that it is possible for an employer to fairly dismiss an employee for conduct outside of work. Therefore social media posts or misuse of the internet could result in disciplinary action by your employer which could result in your dismissal.
- What advice would you give to employees to protect themselves when posting on social media?
Social media or internet misuse may be misconduct amounting to a potential fair reason for dismissal. We would advise employees that if that you’ve posted on social media and it can be linked back to your employer, it may have an adverse impact on their reputation and public image, so re- think posting it.
- When it comes to freedom of speech, what rights do employees have?
To date, case law involving Employment Tribunal clams involving human rights’ defence have largely failed. There are usually policies in place in your workplace, so make sure to read these and ensure you are compliant with the policies.
- How can employers protect their business when it comes to employees posting online?
Employers can protect their business by having an appropriate social media policy in place which sets out what employees can and can’t do on social media. They can also restrict access to social media on company computers during working hours.
If you would like more advice or information, contact our employment team at Tayntons in Gloucester to book an initial consultation on 0800 158 4147. Alternatively, you can complete a contact form with your enquiry.