Statement of policy and purpose of Policy
1. Joe Blogs (the Employer) recognises that social interaction on the internet is an important
and integral part of life and, if used correctly, can offer valuable business opportunities.
However, inappropriate use of social media can be a serious drain on productivity and can
also pose significant business risks.
2. It is our policy that staff may make limited use of social media during their hours of work,
as set out in this policy. In addition, the use by staff members of social media at any time,
and whether or not using our equipment, must comply with the rules set out in this policy
if it may affect our business in any way.
3. The purpose of this policy is to ensure that all staff understand:
a. the extent to which personal use of social media is permitted during hours of work;
b. the limitations on their use of social media, whether used during or outside hours of
c. the types of use of social media that could expose them and us to legal liability.
4. This is a statement of policy only and does not form part of your contract of employment.
We may amend this policy at any time, in our absolute discretion.
Who and what does this policy apply to?
5. This policy and the rules contained it in apply to:
a. all our staff, irrespective of seniority, tenure and working hours, including all
employees, directors and officers, consultants and contractors, casual or agency
staff, trainees, homeworkers and fixed-term staff and any volunteers (Staff);
b. use by Staff of websites specifically aimed at social interaction such as Facebook,
LinkedIn, Wikipedia and Twitter as well as blogging, participation in wikis and the use
of interactive features or the ability to post or publish comments or information
(including video, audio, photographs and text) with other people on other websites
c. use of Social Media for business and/or personal purposes, whether or not during
working hours and irrespective of whether our equipment or resources are used.
6. This policy should be read in conjunction with our data protection policy. Other policies
that should be read in conjunction with this policy include:
a. the Bullying and Harassment Policy.
Who is responsible for this policy?
7. The Director has general responsibility for the oversight and updating of this policy. All
Staff have personal responsibility to ensure compliance with this policy. Managers have
special responsibility for leading by example, ensuring that members of Staff are familiar
with this policy and for monitoring and enforcing compliance.
Business and personal use of Social Media
8. All media enquiries (including requests for comments for publication on Social Media)
should be directed to the Director. If you are contacted by a media representative or
asked for comment for publication about us or otherwise in connection with your
employment, you should not respond unless you have been given written approval by
9. Only Staff specifically authorised by the Director (Authorised Business User) may use
Social Media on our behalf as an organisation or otherwise or post comments on any of
our Social Media accounts or profiles. If you are authorised to do this, then we may
require you to undergo training before undertaking such activities and you will be
required to comply with additional guidance and instructions concerning these
10. We allow Staff to make occasional personal use of Social Media while at work and
using our IT or communications resources and equipment (IT Systems), so long as all use
complies with this policy and does not interfere with the proper performance of work
Guidance on use of Social Media
11. Personal capacity: Unless you are an Authorised Business User, when using Social
a. you should make it clear that you are speaking in your personal capacity and not as
our representative, communicate in a way consistent with that and if you choose to
include contact information this should be your personal, not work contact details;
b. if you do elect to disclose your connection to us, then you must clearly and expressly
state that your views do not represent those of the Employer.
12. Permanent form: It is always useful to bear in mind when posting any Social Media
content or comment that they may be permanently and publicly available and that you
may not be able later to delete or remove them. You should ensure that your
communications are consistent with the image that you would like to present publicly
including to us and any future employers, colleagues, friends, business contacts and the
world at large.
13. Personal liability. Remember that you are personally responsible and may be legally
liable for what you communicate on Social Media. Public statements of this type can
create legal issues in a number of different ways include for being defamatory, breach of
confidentiality, infringement of intellectual property or amounting to unlawful
14. Taking care to avoid misunderstandings: Before posting comments, think about
whether, even if innocently meant, they could be misconstrued in a way that creates legal
problems or reputational damage for us or you. Steer away from commenting on
sensitive topics relating to us or your employment. Such comments might damage our
reputation even if you make clear that the views you express are personal.
15. Respecting privacy and confidentiality. All of us have information that we prefer to
keep private. Do not post anything related to your colleagues or our customers, clients,
business partners, suppliers, vendors or other stakeholders without their written
permission or in breach of this policy.
16. Respecting intellectual property: If you post or reference material that is protected by
intellectual property rights, you should satisfy yourself that you have taken steps to avoid
legal liability such as appropriately referencing sources and ensuring that citations are
accurate. If you are an Authorised Business User and have questions about whether a
particular post or upload to our Social Media accounts or profiles might violate anyone's
copyright or trademark, then you should check with Daniel Eastes in advance.
Prohibited uses of Social Media
17. Your communications through Social Media, like all other modes of communication,
must not breach our disciplinary or workplace rules or any other policy and procedure
and must not cause us to be in breach of obligations we owe to others. For example, you
must not use Social Media in any way that:
a. breaches obligations of confidentiality which you owe to us or to any third party or
which causes us to breach duties of confidence which we owe to any third party.
b. breaches the rights of any other Staff member or third party to privacy, data
protection and confidentiality or which amounts to bullying or harassment;
c. is offensive, insulting, discriminatory or obscene;
d. poses a threat to our trade secrets, confidential information and intellectual property;
e. infringes the intellectual property rights of any other person or entity;
f. defames, disparages or causes reputational damage to us or our associated
companies or to any party with whom we have a business relationship, such as
suppliers or customers;
g. breaches or causes us to breach any law or the rules or guidelines of any regulatory
authority relevant to our business;
h. breaches data protection rules;
i. breaches our rules, policies or procedures for the use of our IT Systems or other
equipment or resources;
j. is dishonest, improper, unethical, misleading or deceptive (eg pretending to be
k. is likely to either directly or indrectly damage your reputation or our reputation;
l. breaches any of our other policies and procedures, including the Bullying and
18. You may not use our our logos, brand names, slogans or other trademarks, or post any
of our confidential or proprietary information without prior written permission.
19. Information relating to business contacts that you make in the course of your
employment amounts to confidential information and belong to us. As such, you are not
permitted to add such information (including contact details) to your personal Social
20. You must not give references for any person on a social media site (including any
professional networking sites) on which our identity as your employer is shown in any
public or private part of the site. This applies whether the reference is positive or
negative. The reason for this is that such references may otherwise be attributed to us
and create legal liability both for us and for you personally as the author.
21. Information stored in our IT Systems belongs to us. You should have no expectation of
privacy in any communication, document, information file, post or conversation
(Information) which you send or receive, access, print or store using our IT Systems. In
particular, we may:
a. intercept, monitor and read any Information or activities using our IT Systems,
including Social Media use, to ensure compliance with our rules and for our legitimate
business purposes. This may include use of recording devices or other surveillance
methods, keystroke monitoring and other technologies; and
b. retain copies of Information to store copies of such data or communications after
they are created and delete such copies from time to time without notice.
22. Monitoring Social Media use will be conducted in accordance with an impact
assessment that we've carried out to ensure that monitoring is necessary and
proportionate. Monitoring is in our legitimate interests and ensures this policy is being
complied with. For the purposes of the law on data protection, the Employer is a data
controller of the personal information in connection with your employment. This means
that we determine the purposes for which, and the manner in which, your personal
information is processed. The person responsible for data protection compliance is our
Data Protection Officer.
23. Monitoring will normally be carried out by our IT.
24. Personal information obtained through monitoring may be shared internally, including
with members of the HR team, your line manager, managers in the business area in which
you work and IT staff, if access to the information is necessary for performance of their
roles. Information is only shared internally if we have reasonable grounds to believe that
there has been a breach of this policy. We will not share information gathered from
monitoring with third parties, unless we have a duty to report matters to a regulatory
authority or law enforcement agency. Personal information gathered through monitoring
will not be transferred outside of the European Economic Area (EEA).
25. You have a number of rights in relation to your personal information, including the
right to make a subject access request and the right to have your information rectified or
erased in some circumstances. You can find out more about these rights and how to
access them in our Data protection policy, which you can find
here: www.geekydesigns.co.uk/data-protection. If you believe that we have not complied
with your data protection rights, you can complain to the Information Commissioner.
26. Access to Social Media may be withdrawn in any case of misuse.
27. Please refer to our IT and communications technology policy for more information.
Breaches of this policy
28. We must all contribute to protecting the business reputation of the Employer. If you
see content in Social Media that is defamatory, false or disparages or reflects poorly on
our organisation or our stakeholders, you should contact the Director.
29. Staff who breach this policy:
a. will be required to disclose relevant passwords and log in information and to
otherwise co-operate with our investigation;
b. may be required to remove the offending internet postings, comment or information;
c. may be subject to disciplinary action up to and including dismissal.