We have an employee currently on sick leave with back problems. She has recently posted photos on Facebook showing her socialising and dancing on a night out. These photos have been shared with some of her work colleagues on Facebook and we have been notified. Can we dismiss her for gross misconduct?

Posted in : First Tuesday Q&A NI on 3 February 2015
Arthur Cox
Arthur Cox
Issues covered:

Ideally, if you have a sickness absence policy or contractual right requiring the employee to submit to medical examinations when requested, you should take steps to verify the employee's sickness in this way in the first instance. If there is no such policy or requirement, then you may nonetheless wish to contact the employee and request further medical evidence in light of your doubts.

However, sole reliance on social media, in this case Facebook, without any further evidence to question the validity of an employee's sickness may be risky. Arguably, the employee's personal social activities as recorded on Facebook are private and it would be questionable whether you could rely on this

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

The information in this article is provided as part of Legal-Island's Employment Law Hub. We regret we are not able to respond to requests for specific legal or HR queries and recommend that professional advice is obtained before relying on information supplied anywhere within this article.

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 rosemary.lundy@arthurcox.com

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