Dismissals due to Social Media posts


Recent cases regarding dismissals due to social media posts have led to significant decisions in the courts as workplace codes of conduct come up against freedom of speech.

Most employees now have at least one social media account, allowing them to communicate not only with friends and relatives but also with the general public. Due to this it is strongly advised that employers put in place a social media policy. These detail not only the use of social media during office hours but many extend their scope beyond this in an attempt to prevent damage to the employer’s business or reputation in the employee’s personal time.

It would seem that a key factor with regard to dismissals due to social media posts is the audience. Where the employee has unrestricted privacy settings allowing anybody to access the content the employer will have more scope to act as the damage to the reputation of the business will be greater than if the post could only be seen by a select few. However the extent of these actions has to be in proportion to the facts of the situation.

A Scottish case has confirmed that as long as the dismissal for gross misconduct is within the range of reasonable responses from the employer then it could be considered to be fair.

For further advice or assistance on employment matters contact our Employment Law Specialist Umberto Vietri  on 01535 613674 or umberto.vietri@awbclaw.co.uk
Umberto Vietri, Partner, Head of Company Commercial 
 Umberto Vietri
Head of Company Commercial
 Tel: 01274 352 056 / 01535 613 674