Social media in the workplace

More and more employees are being penalised for using social media on their computers in the workplace. However, it is important to ensure that before you accept a written warning, you have read the social media policy from your employer.

If there is no policy in place and your contract does not prevent use, you must alert your employer immediately and politely request that the warning is removed from your file.

The main issue with employers restricting this use, is that their compliance with data protection is raised for you because the social media account is a private account. This also means that the employer is restricted with what it can investigate on your machine, unless you have waivered your rights to privacy on your work computer.

This means that it is easier for an employer to simply refuse the use of a work computer for personal use such as social media. We are constantly being instructed by businesses to draft a social media policy document for al employees. This will usually include the following sections:

  1. About the Policy
  2. Personal Use of Social Media
  3. Prohibited Use
  4. Guidelines for Responsible Use of Social Media
  5. Breach of the Policy

These policies will need to be fair and easy to understand but also clear what will happen if the employee is in breach of the policy. Make sure you have read and understood it fully and if you require some further guidance, just ask if you can take the policy away for review and contact us before agreeing to it. A policy is an internal requirement for you to adhere to while under the employment and most will be fair and justified. A social media policy is becoming more necessary to avoid internal disputes and data protection breaches.

If you are an employer and wish for a bespoke set of policies drafted including a social media policy, or even if you would like further information on this article, please do not hesitate to contact us.

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