BlandsLaw - Blog posts from social media policy
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With a few busy months ahead for many businesses holding work social functions and Christmas parties, it is a good time to consider the issues around drugs and alcohol in the workplace. From a legal risk management perspective, best business practice around these issues involves the implementation of workplace policies that cover not only drugs and alcohol, but also performance management, occupational health and safety, discrimination and termination. It may be useful at this time of year to remind employees what policies are in place and when these apply.

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Employees can get themselves into all sorts of trouble through the misuse of social media in the workplace. But is social media really to blame? Not in all cases - as this cautionary tale illustrates.

The Fair Work Commission recently rejected an unfair dismissal claim from an employee who used LinkedIn to solicit work for his own private business. The employee showed that he had disclosed to his employer, an architectural design practice, that he did small design projects for private clients outside his normal working hours. The employer had accepted this.

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Social media in the workplace: practical tips for best practice policies

Internet Law Bulletin (Lexis Nexis) – June 2013

Andrew Bland and Sarah Waterhouse look at the rise in employment law decisions involving social media, particularly in unfair dismissal cases, and examples of emerging case law including the recent appeal in Linfox Australia Pty Ltd v Glen Stutsel. This paper – aimed at legal advisors in the areas of workplace and internet law – proposes that a comprehensive and effectively-implemented policy for employee use of social media is an essential legal risk management tool. It also provides practical hints on what to include in a social media policy for employees.

Click to download article > Internet_Law_Bulletin_June_2013 SM articles

 

 Andrew Bland on Switzer's Business program: Linfox, social media and unfair dismissal

Hear Andrew Bland of BlandsLaw discussing with Peter Switzer the recent Linfox v Stutsel case: the Linfox employee who successfully claimed unfair dismissal after his employment was terminated, because he made inappropriate remarks about his managers on Facebook. He was found to be unfairly dismissed by Fair Work Australia because, among other things, he had inadequate knowledge of Facebook, and his employer didn't have an adequate social media policy.

SOCIAL media might be the "biggest gift" for any small business but be warned there are strings attached.

Experts have warned that, without proper training, it can do more harm than good.  And while some businesses bury their head in the sand, there is little escape.

 

BlandsLaw "has been able to mix it with heavyweight firms" thanks to its focus on the evolving social media platforms.

Read more: http://www.news.com.au/news/be-socially-aware-in-business/story-fnejnq06-1226499402893#ixzz2A5M8sFhe

 

Do You Need a Mobile Devices Policy?

Smartphones have become a ubiquitous sight in public and in the workplace. IPads and tablets are similarly common now in the office. These are all examples of mobile devices, and more companies are making these devices available to their employees and allowing remote access to system servers.  Increasingly, employees have devices of their own, and expect to be able to use them at work.  Most agree that these mobile devices are an indispensable tool, and many argue that they could not imagine working or running a business without them. But few people – and perhaps fewer employers –realise  the potential hazard they hold in their hands.

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Law Firm Helping Companies Manage Social Media Risk

In an historic first in Australia, a law firm (BlandsLaw)has developed a suite of social media policy products, designed to assist companies and suppliers manage their social media risk. As BlandsLaw has extensive expertise in workplace and commercial law and is an active user of social media, they are well placed to advise companies on the many aspects of social media.

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Recent FWA Decision Stresses the Importance of a Social Media Policy.

A decision handed down on Monday 19 December by FWA has once again shown the need for organisations to have a social media policy in place. In this case a former Linfox employee was seeking reinstatement to his position after being terminated for comments made on his Facebook page. Commissioner Roberts commented on the need for a social media policy when, whilst lamenting the fact that Linfox did not have one, he commented that:

“In the current electronic age, this is not sufficient and many large companies have published detailed social media polices and taken pans to acquaint their employees with those policies.”

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A recent decision of Fair Work Australia should highlight to employers the importance of having a social media policy in the workplace.

The background to the case is that a Melbourne hair-dresser who, amongst other reasons, was dismissed after talking disparagingly about her employer on Facebook has successfully argued that her termination constitutes an unfair dismissal. The hairdresser was successful on arguments other than the Facebook issue, but the case still raises important issues about the use of social media by employees. Read the full article here

The Social Media Phenomenon – Are You Prepared?

With Twitter growing at a phenomenal rate, Facebook networking larger than life, LinkedIn creating a recruiter’s goldmine and ‘blogging’ not an obscene word but widely understood logging resource, social media is quickly emerging into the communication mainstream. Click here to read the full article

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