More and more HR departments report back to us that social media comments by staff are causing them to take action including considering dismissal of their employee.
Employers need to know what action they can take against employees who commit social media-related misconduct either in the course of their work or in their personal life.
Such misconduct can take many forms, from employees making disparaging comments on public websites about their employer or colleagues, or about the employer’s customers, products or services, through to an employee expressing a view entirely unrelated to the employer’s business but which nevertheless could reflect negatively on the organisation.
Tribunals will take into account many factors in assessing whether a social media-related dismissal is fair. Such factors include:
- the nature and severity of the comments made by an employee
- the subject matter of those comments
- the extent of the damage caused to an employer’s reputation
- whether there has been a breach of confidentiality
- whether the employer has a social media policy and whether employees have been given training in that policy
- whether the comments made by an employee were made during working hours and/or using the employer’s equipment
- whether there are any other mitigating factors.
For more information on social media misconduct visit the CIPD website.