Social media policy

29 November 2021

Social media has been around for a while now and affects millions of organisations worldwide.

It’s a powerful tool that can affect your employees and business by the comments posted online.

Your employees will no doubt have a social media account. It probably existed before they started working for an organisation and will likely continue to exist after.

But if an employee posts something offensive online, it may be treated like a verbal misconduct in the workplace and there could be a hefty punishment.

That’s whether the employee has said anything online during work or not.

In this guide, we will explain what a social media policy is, if you need one, and helping you create or implement one in your company.

What is a social media policy?

A social media policy allows organisations to set expectations for appropriate behaviour for their online presence.

It also prevents employee’s from not exposing the company’s information or privacy in posts across social media.

An individual could post offensive comments online, which could be intentionally harmful to their reputation and the company they are employed at.

In the UK, laws forbid people from expressing hatred due to certain characteristics such as:

• Race.
• Disability.
• Religion.
• Marriage or civil partnerships.
• Gender or sex.

Hate speech goes against the Equality Act 2010 and punishments can lead to a large fine.

Do you need a social media policy?

Having a staff social media policy for employees in place is going to be a huge benefit for employers. It will bring more peace of mind rather than just relying on employees to follow unwritten rules.

Introduce a clear social media etiquette for employees. This will, include a Facebook work policy and social media guidelines for employees around their social media conduct will help to prevent misuse of social media.

What is a social media work policy example?

A social media acceptable use policy will help employers guide employees as to what is acceptable and what will not be tolerated.

Some employers prefer not to be mentioned at all in their employee’s personal social media, or or will ask that nothing related to work is posted on there.

You should include the following in a social media policy:

• Roles and responsibilities
• Security protocols
• A plan of action for security crisis
• An outline to comply with the law
• Guidance for employees’ personal social media accounts
• Worker’s advocacy guidelines

You shouldn’t discourage employees from social media. But implementing a clear social media policy will help them know what they can and should share on social media.

What if rules aren’t followed?

Setting clear rules on the use of social media is a good idea. But what if those rules aren’t followed?

Case law shows us that if employers have specific rules, that have been given to employees, breach of those rules can lead to disciplinary action.

This can include dismissal for breach of these rules.

Making the sanctions for breach clear in the policy will discourage those looking to go against the rules. This can be used to enforce those rules against those who have broken them.

Get expert help on a social media policy with Peninsula

Creating a social media policy can protect your organisation from employees posting harmful content online, such as confidential financial information.

If you need help on creating or implementing a social media policy, our employment experts can assist you every step of the way.

Peninsula can help keep you compliant when dealing with your social media policy.

Get in touch today; or use our call back form to arrange for us to get in touch at a time that is convenient for you.

Call us on 0800 028 2420.

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