14th February 2022


by Abigail Reynolds, Chartered Legal Executive, Employment Law

Last week, a video went viral on social media showing West Ham star Kurt Zouma subjecting his pet cat to abuse. There has been significant backlash, including sponsors of West Ham United withdrawing from sponsorship deals. In the wider world, there are growing concerns about the impact of social media on businesses and employees alike.

Social media can be an extremely positive tool in the workplace, helping with marketing and keeping the public up to date with business developments. However, what happens when it goes wrong?

One of the most common problems with social media is that views that were previously private can now be announced to the world at a click of a button. Employees are often directly linked to their employers on social media, so if an employee goes rogue, the damage to the reputation of a business can be devastating.

Other problems include where employees use social media to subject others to bullying and harassment, the use of social media during work hours and also issues of confidentiality.

Social Media Policy

The best way to prevent these issues from arising is to have a fair and open social media policy. A social media policy can include:

  • Guidance on the personal use of social media;
  • Guidance on where use of social media is prohibited;
  • Guidance on business use of social media;
  • Guidance on the monitoring of social media use;
  • Guidance on using social media responsibly; and
  • Guidance on disciplinary action which may be taken for a breach of the social media policy.

Disciplinary action

If an issue about social media use has arisen with an employee, it is extremely important that any disciplinary procedure is fair. An employer must follow a full and fair procedure in line with the ACAS Code of Practice on disciplinary and grievance procedures and it should not be assumed that any issue arising from social media use will result in dismissal, although a dismissal may be fair in certain circumstances.

If you have any concerns about your employees using social media or require assistance with drafting a Social Media policy, contact our Employment Law team on 01945 461456.


Find out more about Abigail Reynolds

Find out more about our Employment Law services


This article aims to supply general information, but it is not intended to constitute advice. Every effort is made to ensure that the law referred to is correct at the date of publication and to avoid any statement which may mislead. However, no duty of care is assumed to any person and no liability is accepted for any omission or inaccuracy. Always seek advice specific to your own circumstances.  Fraser Dawbarns LLP are always happy to provide such advice.

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