Social Media in the workplace – an employer’s perspective


Social media has in recent years become an important feature of global business marketing strategies as efficient, targeted, straightforward and, above all, cost effective when compared to practically all other forms of advertising bar word of mouth. The explosion of the use of social media in commercial marketing, whether by use of the micro-blogging platform, Twitter, or the world’s largest online community, Facebook, has brought with it a raft of challenges in the employer/employee context, difficulties which, given their recent emergence, are a minefield which is currently being navigated by employment law practitioners and arbiters around the world.

There are many reasons why the use of social media in business is causing difficulty, but it can generally be described as a tug of war between the employer’s right to protect its reputation and the protection of the employee’s fundamental right to privacy. The widespread use of social media by employers and employees alike has blurred the line between the employee’s work and private life. A number of recent decisions at first instance in Employment tribunals in the UK are beginning to deal with some of these issues, with sometimes surprising results and interpretations.

This is an area of law in its infancy and a fascinating opportunity to observe the development of case law dealing with issues we can all, save for the handful of businesses and individuals continuing to resist the new media and communications reality, can relate to. ISOLAS plans to keep an eye on developments as they happen and, in order to bring these developments to the attention of our clients and partners, we will be hosting a breakfast seminar at our offices at 09.30 on Thursday 22 September, later this year. If you would like to attend for a cup of coffee, a croissant and information you really cannot do without, email the author at to reserve your place now.

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