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Legal Implications of Social Media


As nearly everyone has some kind of social media page, it is easy for employers to find out a bit more about potential employees before even considering them for interview.

Remember just because the information is out there, it doesn’t mean you can use it to discriminate against a potential employee. Discrimination against applicants on the basis of gender, sexual orientation, age, race or any other protected characteristics is prohibited. Employers risk an employment tribunal under discrimination and data protection laws.

Misuse of Social Media:

Are you aware that your business will be vicariously liable for any defamatory comments made by one of your employees about your competitors? As soon as you become aware of a situation, you must either ask the employee to remove the comment or write to the Social Media site asking them to remove the statement. The employee should also understand that this would result in disciplinary action being taken against them. This should be included as part of your Social Media Policy.

This section of your policy should also cover defamatory or unlawful comments made about your business, you should notify the employee in writing that the material is considered a breach of contract and disciplinary procedures will be instigated. The employee must also remove the comments immediately from the site.

Communication is crucial in all areas of business and it is in your best interests to ensure your employees understand the impact their actions can have on your business and their employment.

For more information on Social Media in the workplace please contact us at

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