Can an employer discipline staff for using social networking sites during working hours?

Posted in : First Tuesday Q&A NI on 3 May 2011
Arthur Cox
Arthur Cox
Issues covered:

Yes, especially if the employee’s usage is in breach of your IT/ Internet/Social Media Policy. Employers should ensure they have a policy on personal use of IT for this purpose, making it clear to employees what they can and cannot do. Discipline and dismissal will not necessarily be unreasonable in the absence of such a policy, but having a clear policy and procedures in place reduces the risk of unfairness in such proceedings. Every employer can develop their own principles on how best to deal with the use of social media in the workplace. An employer may choose to ban social networking altogether, particularly where the disadvantages of its use outweigh the benefits. Legally, it is

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Back to Q&A's This article is correct at 02/09/2015

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Arthur Cox
Arthur Cox

The main content of this article was provided by Arthur Cox. Contact telephone number is +44 28 9026 2673 or email

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