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Employers Social Media Policies

Employers are once again reminded of the importance of maintaining robust social media policies as well as routinely ensuring all staff are up to date in terms of training.

Following the disappointing result in the Euro 2020 final, large numbers of England fans took to their social media accounts to discuss and dissect the game, with a sadly large number engaging in unpleasant and discriminatory behaviour. 

Employers should be aware of the potential to be drawn into the matter, highlighted by a property manager at a large firm being linked to a social media account that had posted racist comments. The business was then linked to the controversy after the account in question was cross-referenced to the individual's LinkedIn account, whereon the individual has been suspended pending investigation. The individual maintains the account was hacked. What the truth is in this particular matter remains to be seen, but employers are reminded to ensure that their policies:

Cover issues relating to security and hacking and that the employee is or might be still liable for anything posted by their account unless they take certain steps to secure accounts (including but not limited to two-step verification, alerts that new devices have signed in, etc, all of which should be retained).

That social media accounts should not reference businesses and should remain personal, and that training should be given to ensure employees understand where and how cross-referencing between different accounts can take place.

That breach of the policy can and will lead to disciplinary action and may amount to gross misconduct.

It is also worth reminding employees of all policies and procedures that relate to discrimination.

Employers should also remember that they are required to strike a balance between fair process whilst maintaining their reputation, which can be particularly difficult in circumstances such as this when calls are also being made for the employer to publicly state what actions they are taking to eradicate racisim and discrimination.

Posted on 15 July, 2021 by Ortolan

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