Social media causes unrest

An employee was reprimanded by their supervisor following an Instagram post in which they criticised a gift they received from their employer. They announced that they received a “cheap wireless charger” as a token of appreciation from their employer and posted a snap of the gift on their Instagram story with the caption “We can’t pay you a competitive wage but here’s an off brand wireless charger for all your hard work”.

A co-worker the screenshotted their social media post and showed it to their supervisor who took umbrage to what had been posted.  Employees should be reminded via relevant policies, to exercise caution when using personal social media accounts. They may find themselves subject to disciplinary proceedings or even dismissed from their employment if their employer construes a post as inappropriate or that it poses a risk to the employer’s reputation. This is regardless of whether a post relates to their employer, or whether it was posted during their working hours.

Whilst cases will be assessed by the Employment Tribunal on a case-by-case basis employers are more likely to succeed in establishing that the dismissal was lawful where the employee’s (albeit personal) account is accessible by the public and where there is a link to the employer, for example, where the employer’s name is mentioned, the employee is wearing their work uniform, or they have work colleagues as connections.

To prevent problems from occurring employers should have “a robust and up-to-date social media policy in place.

Contact us at enquiries@121hrsolutions.co.ukand we will be happy to discuss the implementation of a social media policy.

 

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