Restrictions in the Workplace
It is relatively common for employers to impose a ban on social media usage in the workplace, implement a social media policy governing employees’ use of social media in relation to the employer, and provide training on the use of social media.
Can the employer monitor, access, review the employee’s electronic communications?
An employer may legally monitor its employees’ electronic communications where the employer has obtained the employee’s consent for the collection, use or disclosure (as the case may be) of their personal data against notified purposes, which must be purposes that a reasonable person would consider appropriate in the circumstances. Otherwise, the employer must show that the collection, use and disclosure of such personal data falls within the scope of one of the statutory exceptions under the Personal Data Protection Act.
It is good practice for the consequences of breach of the social media policy to be stated in either a company policy or the employment contract. The employer should follow the disciplinary procedures set out in its own policy or rules. If the employer has no disciplinary policy in place, due inquiry should, in any case, be carried out before disciplinary action is taken.