Employer Alert: Remind staff about your Social Media Policy prior to the company Christmas Party

Posted on 15 October 2013

As the end of the year is looming and planning for many business Christmas parties is well underway, here is a timely reminder to employers about the necessity to have and to educate staff about the acceptable standard of behaviour (including social media) which applies in your business.

If as an employer, you do not have a clear Code of Conduct and Social Media Policy in place, which has been properly implemented and training provided to all staff on, you are leaving your business open for possible legal action should a staff member bring make a complaint about conduct at or related to the Christmas function (such as a sexual harassment, discrimination or bullying). Your staff should be reminded that the same rules and standards or behaviour apply at the your Christmas event as those which apply at work.

By way of example, in a recent case where an employee posted unfavourable comments about their employer on Facebook and was subsequently dismissed, a Fair Work Commissioner noted that “Posting comments about employers on a website (Facebook) that can be seen by an uncontrollable number of people is no longer a private matter but a public comment.” Employers and their managers should ensure employees are aware of the implications of posting negative comments or photographs and should ensure that the business’ Code of Conduct and Social Media policy are circulated well before the event so that staff are well aware of what is expected of them and the employer’s stance on the such behaviour towards co-workers or the firm itself.

Should you require a review of your current Conduct Code, Social Medial policy or any other workplace policies or need a new policy drawn up, please contact Dooley & Associates to assist you.