Examples of employees being reprimanded for ill-advised tweets are common, such as the Bristol stockbroker sacked for tweeting: “Think I just hit a cyclist. But I’m late for work so had to drive off lol.”
But the assumption that personal tweets that do not mention the tweeter’s employer are ‘safe’ is wrong, says Andrew Brown of Anderson Strathern.
In the recent case of Game Retail v Laws, an employment appeal tribunal ruled it was fair to dismiss an employee for making offensive tweets on his personal account.
His employer had received complaints from his followers, who included 65 of the employer’s stores.
I know of at least one outdoor fitness provider which requires its employees/contractors to have a separate work/personal presence on social media in order to protect its reputation (amongst other things).
A social media policy that stipulates that unacceptable behaviour, concerning their employment, on either their personal or work presence is unacceptable and will be dealt with via the disciplinary process is advisable.
People Management (2015) Legal Lowdown: Tweeting Is A Work Concern. People Management. March 2015, pp.15.