It has come to the attention of the company that an employee has put on Facebook derogatory comments about their manager. The Facebook page is set to private; however, a colleague who is a friend on Facebook viewed the comment and informed management and would like to be kept anonymous. How can HR approach this situation?

Posted in : First Tuesday Q&A NI on 2 September 2015
Arthur Cox
Arthur Cox
Issues covered:

Recent case law has demonstrated that employers can find it difficult to deal with alleged misconduct involving an employee's use of social media sites such as Facebook.

The first difficulty for employers is how this specific type of misconduct is characterised, for example, whether the misconduct consists of damaging the employer's reputation, or breaching a duty of confidentiality.

Secondly, the employee may argue that the conduct takes place outside work and has no bearing on the employment relationship, possibly asserting that their right to privacy has been infringed.

There are two key cases in GB which are worth considering before approaching situations such as these. In Preece v JD

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

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

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