Social Media…. AGAIN!

A teenager has found himself unexpectedly in the limelight after his TikTok video, in which he revealed his enjoyment of working as a delivery driver for a large UK retailer, gained millions of views.

In the clip, he said: “If you want an easy job, just go and work, and do this delivering…It is possibly the easiest job I’ve ever had, the best paying job I’ve ever had, and I get looked after. I don’t do much, I just sit on the side of the road waiting to do these drops.”

However, in a follow-up video, the teenager revealed that the clip had landed him in hot water with senior bosses, mainly due to his frequent bad language throughout the video. Later still he stated that he had lost his job as a result of the video, allegedly due to gross misconduct for bringing his employer’s company into disrepute.

Whether the TikTok user’s claims are true or not, there is a precedent for workers losing their jobs over social media posts. Online platforms including the likes of Twitter, Instagram and TikTok have grown in popularity, therefore it is likely that employees will continue to use social media accounts.

Unfortunately, they may find themselves subject to disciplinary proceedings or even dismissal if their employer construes a post as inappropriate and/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.

However, 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 social media connections.

121 HR Solutions always recommend that employers have “a robust and up-to-date social media policy in place.If you have any concerns about your current policies and their appropriateness to your business contact us at enquiries@121hrsolutions.co.ukand we can discuss.

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