Internet and Email Risks at Work
Online and e-mail risks at work
An employment tribunal has held that the dismissal of an
employee for making derogatory comments about her workplace on
Facebook was unfair. The comments were "relatively minor" and there
was nothing to suggest that the employer's relationship with a key
client had been harmed or jeopardised as a result. The employer had
failed to take into account the employee's exemplary employment
record and mitigating circumstances.
Although the decision is not binding, the case suggests that
employers will not always be able to rely on the assertion that
their reputation may be damaged by offensive remarks, but should
instead make some attempt to assess the risk of harm. In this case,
that would have involved speaking to the client whose goodwill it
considered at risk.
Businesses should make sure they investigate matters involving
social media thoroughly, and not have a "knee-jerk reaction" to
comments that have a derogatory element.
checklist highlights the risks a business and its employees
should be aware of when using the internet and e-mail at work,
sending work-related e-mails or discussing the workplace on the
For further information, please speak to our Employment Law Team.