Putting the ‘anti’ into social sites

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BUSINESS owners in Milton Keynes have been warned to adopt a policy for the use of social network sites like Facebook and Twitter or risk fines and damage.

The use of social media sites at work has often blurred the line between personal and business use, according to Bluefin Insurance Services, based in Upper Fourth Street, Central Milton Keynes.

Peter Castle from Bluefin said: “As social media has become increasingly popular, there has also been a sharp rise in cases of employee misuse of this technology.

“There have been several recent cases where employees have successfully argued that any attempt to restrict their activities outside of the workplace breaches their right to a private life.

“Many businesses without a social media policy could fall, leading to financial and reputational damage.”

It’s estimated less than 11 per cent of UK businesses have a formal social media policy.

Bluefin points to a number of employment tribunal cases to back up its point.

In one example, an employee was dismissed for posting a video of a fight in a warehouse on YouTube. Because the video was only viewed eight times and there was no loss to the company, his dismissal was found to be unfair.

In a second case, an employee was sacked after posting comments about customers on Facebook.

The tribunal found the employee’s actions were likely to bring reputational harm to the business and were to be considered in the public domain, and his claim was dismissed.