Who can use this policy?
This policy can be used by all employers.
Employers have the right to prescribe standards of communication for employee use of social media platforms as it relates to their business, whether directly or indirectly. With the growing use of social media to enhance an employer’s products, services and/or brand recognition, employers need to ensure they have a policy that provides strict guidelines on the way in which employees and contractors are allowed to engage in social media whether authorised to do so or not.
Examples of social media include blogs, discussion forums and boards, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, MySpace, You Tube, Instagram, Tiktok and any other medium which allows a user to upload electronic communication and content.
The policy is designed as a guideline intended to provide clarity to employees and contractors on acceptable use of social media platforms generally, as well as when referring to the employer, the employer’s products and services, its people, clients, competitors and entities associated with the employer (regardless of whether the devices are owned or controlled by the employer). Importantly, this policy is not limited to the use of social media platforms on computers and other electronic devices provided by the employer, but also includes activity undertaken on an employee’s personal computer or electronic device.
The policy has been updated to include the use of social media on the company’s computer network for limited and reasonable personal use. If employee’s use the company’s computer network for personal use they will need to be mindful that any information they disclose may be used or disclosed and the employee is taken to have consented to the use and disclosure for any information that is disclosed.
Any breach of the policy may result in disciplinary action including termination of employment.
Please note that this policy should be used in conjunction with the Internet, Email and Computer Use Policy, particularly if the State or Territory in which you operate has laws which regulate an employer’s ability to monitor the computer use of its employees. For instance, in New South Wales workplace surveillance is regulated by the Workplace Surveillance Act 2005 (NSW) (Workplace Surveillance Act). The Workplace Surveillance Act prescribes that an employer must not undertake computer surveillance in relation to an employee’s computer use unless it has first notified the employee of the type of surveillance that is to be conducted at least 14 days’ prior to the surveillance occurring and the surveillance is carried out in accordance with a policy which has been communicated to the workforce in such a manner that it is reasonable to assume that the employees are aware of and understand the policy. If you have any questions about this matter you should seek specific legal advice.