Find a service

T. 0114 276 5555

Latest Warning Reinforces Caution For Employees Posting Online

Share this page:

A Sheffield-based employment specialist is stepping up warnings for employees to be cautious about what they post on social networking sites following today’s news from The Recruitment Society and The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) which states that most employers now search for potential candidates online.

hlw Keeble Hawson LogoBarry Warne, a partner at hlw Keeble Hawson - one of the region’s biggest law firms with offices in Sheffield, Leeds and Doncaster - stresses that employees could be limiting their career opportunities or heading towards dismissal as a result of what they post on their Facebook or Twitter accounts.

Mr Warne said: “Circumstances where staff could be fired fall broadly into two areas: the first instance is when an employee’s social networking activity contradicts what they have told their boss. For example, they phone in sick and then post that they are out and about enjoying themselves. The second area comprises negative comments about employers or colleagues.

“Staff often quote their ‘human rights’ to privacy and freedom of expression as a justification for their online postings but making comments in a public forum compromises the right to privacy. It’s also important to be aware that making detrimental comments about colleagues may infringe their rights not to suffer harassment.”

The employment specialist highlighted an employment tribunal case in which an employee had expressed approval of a comment someone had made about their boss being ‘As much use as a chocolate teapot’. As a result, the employee was dismissed but the tribunal ruled this was unfair and too harsh and said she should only have been cautioned. 

He added: “Employers are entitled to look at what prospective employees post online and decide if the potential candidate is someone they want on board. As long as they do not discriminate against candidates on grounds such as race, gender, age or sexual orientation, they are fully entitled to make a judgement on what prospects are posting online.”

Share this page:

Get in Touch