Guide to social media policy for businesses launched

A guide to social media policy for businesses has been launched.

The guide, from employment relation experts Acas, is designed to help businesses, staff and trade unions develop a policy on the use of internet, blogs and social media websites like Facebook and Twitter in and outside of work.

According to Acas, 55 per cent of staff are now using social media at work, either on computers or mobile phones. But employers are concerned that many staff are also abusing it by looking at their personal pages instead of working, posting derogatory comments about managers and colleagues, or buying and selling online.

Some employers, such as Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) and BT have issued their own policies, but Acas research has found that less than one in ten employers has a social media policy.

The main recommendation is that businesses consult with staff and trade unions to spell out the dos and don’ts of using the internet and social media, with clear consequences for breaching these rules.

Commenting, chief executive at Acas, John Taylor said: “Online conduct should not differ from offline conduct. Employees should assume that everything they say on the internet could be made public, and should think whether they want their colleagues or boss to read it. They might not mean it, but what they post could end up being seen by billions of people worldwide.”

More information about the guide can be found here.