It is important that there is clear communication with staff in relation to the use of social media. Have you done that? Employees should sign off on the social media policy. Have you discussed social media at a staff meeting? Have you highlighted this policy and staff obligations at induction? Where there is a lack of awareness regarding social media it has the potential to lead to inappropriate postings which can give rise to other staff feeling targeted, bullying, harassment and sexual harassment allegations, reputational damage to the employer, organisation and business.

Employers have an obligation to ensure that their employees have a safe place to work. Employers should ensure that they educate their staff as to what is appropriate to post and what is not. How inappropriate postings can for example, leave the employee, exposed to allegations of workplace bullying, defamation, reputational damage to the company and the impact on the business. Employees should also understand that they cannot post comments about their work colleagues or workplace on their own social media forums.

Remember, that there should be a balance that does not infringe on employee’s personal rights but rather raises an understanding of the use of social media and what may be discriminatory or abusive. How that can impact in the workplace and potentially result in a breach of the social media policy. Employees should be aware that breaches of social media policy will result in invoking the disciplinary policy.

Some employers may use WhatsApp as a means of communication with employees. If employers are using WhatsApp, then it would be prudent to have a policy and a sign off agreement about WhatsApp protocols.

Take action today, check your policy and put social media awareness on the agenda for the next staff meeting. If you would like a sample sign off form on WhatsApp protocols for use in the workplace give us a call on 01 6235908.