4. October 2011 17:04
The use of social media has blurred the lines between the private and professional world, presenting new and significant challenges for employers.
By the very nature of social media, information can be disseminated to an audience of millions at the click of a button. Businesses are now making use of social networks to promote their business and engage with their customers, their market and their supply chain. Many employers are also taking advantage of the opportunities of social media in recruitment, reaching out to potential recruits and researching candidates before offering an interview or making an offer.
But is it fair - or even legal - to take a peek at a potential's profile? When might this undermine a proper recruitment process or even fall foul of data protection or discrimination law? And when can you lawfully reject a candidate because of what you saw online?
Your employees are even more likely to be using social networks and social media, keeping in touch with friends, colleagues and ex-employees. But employees can just as easily talk about your business as what they're having for tea, and what they thought was a private comment between friends can all to often become public.
So what would you do if one of your employees was circulating disparaging information about your organization? Or if photos are posted online of an employee wearing your company uniform in a situation that puts your organisation’s reputation at risk? Or if someone tells you that an employee’s Facebook page shows they are not really sick when they are claiming sick pay?
The courts and tribunals are just beginning to grapple with the question of how far employers are allowed to intrude upon an employee’s online private life in these sorts of situations. It’s clear from emerging case law that employers can act to protect their reputation and their business interests in many instances, but that they must first take steps to establish clear rules with their employees. Establishing these rules, and then investigating whether or not an employee is complying with them, is not always easy.
We're running a series of seminars to help you work through these new and complex issues. LinkedIn to your Employees use of Social Media?will help you:
||Understand the risks social media poses to your business
||Equip you to develop policies and procedures to control the risks
||Learn about using social media for recruitment so that you can take advantage of the benefits without falling foul of the law
You can read more about our seminars by clicking here.