ACAS publishes new Social Networking Advice


ACAS has recently published several fact sheets on the use of social media in the workplace (Click here for a link). It is estimated that misuse of the internet and social media by workers costs Britain’s economy billions of pounds every year and add that many employers are already grappling with issues like time theft, defamation, cyber bullying, freedom of speech and the invasion of privacy. New research from the Institute for Employment Studies, commissioned by Acas, advises employers to:

  • draw up a policy on social networking 
  • treat ‘electronic behaviour’ in the same way you would treat ‘non-electronic behaviour’
  • react reasonably to issues around social networking by asking ‘what is the likely impact on the organisation?’

Please click on the links below to view the ACAS  published fact-sheets which offer practical tips on how to manage the impact of social networking on:

There is also a separate section on how to develop a social media policy  and what it should include.

ACAS lists the following benefits of  having a written policy on ‘the acceptable use of social networking’:
  • help protect against liability for the actions of its workers.
  • give clear guidelines for employees on what they can and cannot say about the company.
  • help line managers to manage performance effectively.
  • help employees draw a line between their private and professional lives.
  • comply with the law on discrimination, data protection and protecting the health of employees.
  • set standards for good housekeeping – for example, for the use and storage of emails.
  • be clear about sensitive issues like monitoring and explain how disciplinary rules and sanctions will be applied.ACAS

ACAS recommends that the guidance should cover:

  • Network security: to avoid viruses.
  • Acceptable behaviour and use for:
    • Internet and emails:
    • Smart phones
    • Social network sites: .
    • Blogging and tweeting:
    • Data protection and monitoring: .
  • Business objectives:
  • Disciplinary procedures:

 If you need help with developing a social media and business protection policy then please contact me.

Philip Henson, Partner and Head of Employment Law, Bargate Murray.

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