Social media plays a huge part in people’s lives now both professionally and at home. As an employment lawyer I am seeing more and more situations where people are enquiring about social media related issues, in particular employers who are wanting to think about dismissing an individual for some social media misuse and that can arise from a number of different situations. It could be for example some workplace bullying via some Facebook chat, it could be inadvertent disclosure of some confidential information on LinkedIn or it could just be general social media posts Whereby the messages that are being put out by the individual are whereby the messages that are being put out by the individual are bad mouthing the business or damaging its reputation in some way. So this very short video ends to set out to employers the fundamentals that they should be thinking about if they find themselves thinking about dismissing an employee for social media misuse. This is particularly important where an individual has two or more years of service because they are then protected by the laws of unfair dismissal. So the first thing that an employer needs to think about is the reason for dismissal. In a social media misuse situation It’s probably going to be in this conduct. That is the reason for the dismissal so it needs to be serious misconduct in order to justify a disciplinary sanction of dismissal and the employer needs to have a reasonable belief in the employee’s guilt. There is another category in unfair dismissal legislation called some other substantial reason to justify dismissal and if the reason for dismissal is because of say reputational damage or an irretrievable breakdown in the relationship between the employer and the employee the dismissal is likely to fall in that reason instead. The second thing for an employer to think about is the process they use to effect the dismissal because that must be a fair process. Firstly the employer will want to investigate the situation and make sure they do some fact finding and then most likely it is going to be the ACAS Code of Practice that applies so essentially employers have got to do a few things. They must write to the individual to set out the allegations against them, they must invite that individual to a meeting in order to give that individual the opportunity to put their version of events across and then the employer has to come to a decision and communicate that to the individual. Importantly they must give the employee the right to appeal against it if they are unhappy with it. So hopefully that gives you a little bit about the basics. If you would like to discuss any further then feel free to get in touch. I am Katee Dias and I am a Senior Associate in the Employment Team here at Goodman Derrick.