12th December 2013

Do You Hear What I Hear?

Alcohol can make managers say silly things.  For this reason, managers should avoid conducting staff appraisals at the office party.  Whilst it might seem obvious that a Christmas party is not the appropriate forum for such discussions to take place, it is not unusual for employees to seek to discuss work matters whilst under the influence.

Managers who hold such discussions at the office party should promise at their peril!

Do you see what I see? 

It is also the time of year when Facebook becomes littered with photos of Christmas party shenanigans.  If an employer believes that an employee has brought the company into disrepute as a result of a Facebook tag, in the correct circumstances the employer is entitled to take disciplinary action against that employee on the basis of alleged misconduct.  Alternatively if an employee complains to its employer about a colleague’s post, in the correct circumstances the employer can take action against the colleague or, at the very least, encourage that employee to pursue a formal grievance about the content of the colleague’s post.

It is however very important for employers to have a social media policy in existence.  Similarly employers require to clearly communicate that policy to its staff.  Provided that the policy is drafted correctly, the employer can control the content and effect of its employees’ social media activity and hopefully prevent enduring the Nightmare Before Christmas!

Simon Allison
Partner – Employment Law

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