Social media in the workplace: Why all employers need a clear policy


Social media has transformed the way that millions of people communicate, but many employment policies are still behind the curve.

Most employers have concerns about employees’ use of social media both in and outside of work. Yet many do not have the right policies in place to reduce the risk of employees misusing social media.

Implementing a clear social media policy

Employers looking to discipline or even dismiss employees for misusing social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter could be left facing employment claims, especially if there is no clear policy in place.

In our latest article, the dedicated employment solicitors at LawforEmployers take a look at some of risks social media poses and how you can avoid them.

Risk of reputational damage to the employer

A common concern is employees sharing anything on social media that could cause reputational damage to the employer.

However, an employer cannot simply dismiss an employee for comments made on social media that may cause reputational damage. In order for a dismissal to be fair, there must be a real and tangible risk.

Employees will also need to be aware of the social media policy and the consequences of breaching the policy should be made clear.

If you believe that an employee’s social media posts have caused reputation damage, we would always advice that you seek expert advice from an employment law solicitor. Getting the right advice on the procedures you should follow can help you avoid a costly employment tribunal in the future.

Harassment through social media

The decision to dismiss an employee for posts on social media may be deemed fair if the comments amount to bullying or harassment. This could include comments posted about a colleague.

Before acting employers should take time to consider who could have viewed the post and the repercussions it may have had.

At LawforEmployers, our dedicated employment solicitors are available to discuss any misuse of social media and provide advice on a reasonable response.

Make sure your social media policy gets shared

The most important step for any employer to take is to have a social media policy in place that is made available to all employees.

At LawforEmployers, we offer an audit of your employment policies and procedures to ensure you are fully compliant in the event of taking any disciplinary action.

Without a clear social media policy in place, dismissing an employee for misuse of social media will most likely be deemed unfair by an employment tribunal. You can find more information on drafting employment contracts and additional policies and procedures here.

Speak to the specialist solicitors at LawforEmployers

By speaking to LawforEmployers, you can receive clear advice on your social media policies and the disciplinary action you can take in the event of a misuse of social media.

Whether you need one off advice or ongoing employment support, our dedicated employment team is on hand to keep your business protected.

To talk to a specialist employment solicitor today, call us on 01282 695 400.

Or, simply complete our quick online contact form to book your free consultation.