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Inappropriate use of Facebook! Do you have a Social Media Policy?

I attended a Mock Employment Tribunal earlier this week. The grounds of the claim were age discrimination, victimisation and harassment.  The claimant was claiming against his employer AND against his line manager personally.

Ultimately, the claimant failed in some elements of his claim but won in one, with an award against his employer and - surprisingly - against his line manager personally.  That would lead to an interesting atmosphere in the office on return to work!

One of the issues that arose during the hearing was the inappropriate use of Facebook.  

Even though his line manager's Facebook settings were private, the Claimant was able to access them via a group that she belonged to - and thereby see negative comments about himself.  You could argue that he shouldn't be looking so hard, but you could equally argue that a line manager shouldn't post negative comments on Facebook about subordinates or colleagues.

It's becoming increasingly important to have a Social Media policy about what is and is not acceptable online behaviour - both during and outside of working hours.  Such policies will vary depending on the nature of your business and the culture within your company, but they should never bring the company into disrepute or cause ill feeling to colleagues and peers. 
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We can help you produce a Social Media policy to suit your organisation.  Don't wait until you have a problem.

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