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7th July 2016

A Derby restaurant is in the news after one of their chefs claimed on Twitter that he ‘fed animal products to vegans’. The tweet went viral, leading to the chef being sacked and the restaurant embroiled in a social media storm. The full story can be found here.

Emma O’Leary is a consultant for ELAS specialising in employment law. She says that in this digital age it’s becoming ever more essential that companies have a robust social media policy in place: “Social media can be a great tool for the promotion of business and interacting with clients but it can be a negative weapon in the wrong hands.  Disgruntled staff – or staff who just don’t think – can be a danger to your business when they abuse social media.  Whether they update their Facebook status to call their manager some choice names, or they use Twitter to ‘joke’ about serving animal products to vegans – if these posts can in any way be linked to your organisation, there is a reputational risk for you and your business.”

ELAS recommends that all businesses should have a social media policy in place. Some might even want to consider specialist social media training, particularly if their employees are in the public eye e.g. sporting organisations.

Emma continues: “A social media policy should highlight that staff who engage in social networking – even whilst they are off duty and off the premises – must always be mindful of expressing views that could be linked to the company or discussing company interests in any way (naming clients, discrediting company products etc).  Staff should be encouraged to resolve complaints with their managers or HR rather than venting through social media as any such comments could be defamatory and damaging to the business.  They should be aware that failure to observe the policy could result in disciplinary action and even termination of employment.”

For more information on implementing a social media policy in your business, or if you are interested in providing social media training for your employees, give our experts a call on 0161 785 2000.


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