Latest insights from our experts

Posted 30 March 2012
by Martin Laver

How Facebook features in employment tribunals

Facebook has been with us for a while now.  Employers have quickly realised that it can be a powerful tool in tackling conduct issues (as well as giving rise to them in the first place!).

A few examples of how Facebook has featured in employment tribunals:

  • to prove that a dismissed employee has a new job
  • to show that a dismissed employee was searching for a new job way before she actually resigned for a different given reason.
  • to show that she used swear words regularly and thus showing that the use of similar words could not have violated her dignity in a harassment claim.
  • To give credence to an accusation of bullying

Social networking raises plenty of employment law issues for employers from whether to allow access in the workplace at all to how you can monitor use, detect abuse and discipline offenders.  In recent months we have been advising more and more clients about the pitfalls of allowing access to social networking (Facebook, Twitter, etc to you and me) in the workplace.

ACAS, the free employment advice and conciliation service, has published a number of guides for employers which are worthy of a read. The guides can be found here.

Problems with use of social networking in the workplace go far beyond time lost by an overly social networker. We have been advising on topics such as breaches of confidence, harassment and discrimination all relating to the use and abuse of social networking.

Most employers would benefit from including a social networking policy in their staff handbook to set out to staff what is unacceptable and could lead to disciplinary action.

We have prepared a social networking policy which is free for our employment advice service subscribers. For more information about that and our fixed fee employment advice service, click here.

For further information and advice, contact our specialist employment law team on 01392 207020 or email

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About the author

Martin Laver

Partner and Solicitor

Partner in the commercial litigation team specialising in disputed trusts and Wills