SOCIAL networking websites such as Facebook, MySpace, Twitter and LinkedIn are now often used not only by employees, but also as a business networking tool and, as such, the line between work and play is becoming blurred.
Joanne Holborn: Sites can be a boom – and a dangerJoanne Holborn, Employment Partner at Baines Wilson LLP, comments that many businesses have embraced the ability to quickly access large groups of potential clients and undoubtedly, if utilised correctly, social media is a great way to market your business.
However, Joanne warns that if social media is misused it can have the opposite effect, and can reflect poorly on your business. Notable risks include potential disclosure of employer/client confidential information and the risk of offensive, discriminatory or defamatory comments being posted by employees.
Any such offensive comments are likely to leave the employer vicariously liable for the actions of their employees.
Joanne recommends that, to ensure a business makes the most of the opportunities presented by the growth of social media, employers adopt and implement effective social media guidelines that clearly define the use of social media at work, regulating employees’ personal use and how individuals market themselves on behalf of the business using social media tools. Employees should also be warned of the consequences of misuse.
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By: Joanne Holborn