Social Media at Work – What should a Social Media Policy contain?

15 11 2010

In todays technology-framed times more and more people and businesses are embracing Social Media and using it for a variety of things.  Be it contributing to industry debates, research, marketing, networking or resourcing, the way we are choosing to communicate with each other has shifted once again.  Sites such as Linked In, WordPress,Twitter, Facebook etc have created a permanent space on many people’s web-browers favourites lists and are growing in followers by the day.

In light of this shift, organsations now need to consider the impact of this Social Networking revolution and how it could impact their business.  It’s important that staff are clear on what is appropriate in the use of Social Media at work as distinct from generic internet usage.

With this in mind here are some questions to help guide you towards what your social media policy might need to contain:

1)    What purposes are you happy for your staff to use Social Media sites at work?

2)    Who is able to speak on behalf of your company?

3)    What sort of comments are you happy for your staff to make about your business?

4)    Who owns the content of what your staff write on Social Media sites such as Linked In, Blogs, Facebook etc?

5)    When networking, who’s the relationship between the staff member or your organisation?

6)    What happens if the staff member spells things incorrectly, or mis-quotes/mis-represents something?

7)    How do you know what your staff are saying about your business?

8)    How and when do you monitor Social Media usage amongst your staff?

9)    What happens when a member of staff joins/leaves?

10) If you have a company account on one of these sites, who has the log in details?  Who has access?

11) How and who will handle responses to comments?

12)  What happens if a member of staff says something defamatory, libelous etc?

13)  What sites are your staff allowed to access and what sort of things are they allowed to look at (this will link into your internet usage policy)

14)  How much time should be spent on these sites whilst the individual is at work?

Of course your Social Media policy relates to people’s use of Social Media at work, so whilst you’re concerned with what an individual is saying about your business, keep in mind privacy laws.

If you’d like more information or to discuss this in further detail, please get in touch with Michelle Fischer on 01202 853647.

Alternatively, read what Mashable has to say about the subject here:

For examples of business’s Social Media Policies:


The CIPD’s view of the Horizon for Employment Law in 2010

20 01 2010

Here’s details of what can be found at the following link from the CIPD outlining their view of changes to UK Employment Law in 2010.

In February

  • Compensation limits for unfair dismissal will go down (for the first time ever) from £66,200 to £65,300 – from 1 February 2010. (The maximum weekly pay to be taken into account when calculating statutory redundancy payments, and the basic award in unfair dismissal claims, was increased to £350 in October 2009 and is not changed again.)

‘Early’ in 2010

  • Following a consultation process in 2009, proposed regulations on union blacklisting are expected to come into force.

‘Spring’ 2010

  • The Social Security (Medical Evidence) and Statutory Sick Pay (Medical Evidence) Amendment Regulations 2010 will introduce new ‘fit notes’ that will replace sick notes in England, Wales and Scotland.

From April

  • Statutory maternity, paternity and adoption pay – the standard rates of SMP, SPP and SAP will increase to £124.08 a week. (The standard rate of Statutory sick pay(SSP) will remain unchanged at £79.15 a week.)
  • Following consultations in 2009, amendments to the Conduct of Employment Agencies Regulations are expected to come into force.
  • Regulations are expected to come into force which will allow parents of children due on or after 3 April 2011 to transfer part of the mother’s maternity leave to the father.
  • Under the Apprentices, Skills, Children and Learning Act 2009, after a minimum of six month’s service in organisations with 250 or more staff, employees will have the right to request time off for training which they believe will make them productive and effective at work. As in the existing arrangements covering flexible working, employers will have a duty to consider seriously any such request. There will be no requirement for an employee to pay for the training or time off. (The right will be extended to all sizes of organisation from April 2011.)

From October

  • Provisions of the Equality Act expected to come into force.

From November

  • Under the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006, people seeking work in a ‘regulated activity’ must register with the Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA), although they may register from 26 July 2010.

Other developments

  • The planned review of the default retirement age (DRA) has been brought forward to 2010. In October 2009 the Government called for evidence on the DRA to feed into the review to be submitted by 1 February 2010.

The CIPD highlight that these changes may well take on a different direction depending upon the outcome of the General Election this year and also that  in some cases, the Scottish and Northern Ireland situation may differ from that in England and Wales.

Creative Leadership contributes to The HR Carnival

6 01 2010

Just a quickie as I thought you’d be interested to see our write up and contribution to The HR Carnival that’s currently underway.  Day 6 and already so many key influencers in the world of Social Recruiting, HR and Talent Management have contributed.  Well done to those involved with setting it up!

New year plans and projects.

5 01 2010

First things first I want to wish you a very happy, healthy and prosperous 2010!  A new decade eh!   What will this one bring?

From talking to people and observing the chitter chatter on various Social Media sites, many of you have been spending time writing out your strategies and vision statements for the coming year and I hope you’re already enjoying putting these into practise.

I must say, it amuses me that so many people have “resolutions” for the new year and I’ve lost count of the number of facebook status updates talking about how people have already failed to achieve their new year promise.  A question…why is it we rely so heavily on December 31st to decide on a new way of life?  What if you decided to do something differently every month?

I digress.

I have spent the past few weeks without internet at home due to an early Xmas present from my telco provider (now thankfully resolved) and it got me to experimenting with my Mac and discovering the webcam facility!  So Talent Management Matters, the Creative Leadership is now with added personality.  Check out our latest VLog – that’s ‘video blog’…I never imagined using that word even only 3 months ago!

So what does this year hold in store for Creative Leadership?  Well we hope more of the same and that we can continue to help more businesses with their HR and Talent Management strategies in 2010, although it would be good for the soul if there were more resourcing activities than redundancy initiatives please…

We’ve added 3 new products to the spectrum including:

  • Outsourced HR Services
  • Leadership Coaching
  • Social Media and Recruitment

If you know of a business that you think would benefit from these services, then please pass our details on. We’d be glad to help

I leave you with the BBCs word cloud for 2010.

Happy New Year!


Employment Law Update – Changes that affect your Talent Management

22 09 2009

If you’re an employer or HR representative responsible for Talent Management in your workplace, here’s a round up of the latest changes in Employment Legislation that you should know about:

The National Minimum Wage Regulations 1999 (Amendment) Regulations 2009

Effective from 1 October

What does it mean?

These regulations implement the annual increases in the National Minimum Wage hourly rates. The main rate will increase from £5.73 to £5.80. The development rate (for workers aged 18 to 21) rises from £4.77 to £4.83, and the youth rate (for 16- and 17-year-olds) from £3.53 to £3.57.


The government estimates that nearly one million workers will be affected by these increases. Because the rises are so modest it thinks the net cost to employers will be negligible, as average earnings are likely to show a larger increase.

Gillie Scoular, partner, Mills & Reeve

Work and families (Increase of Maximum Amount) Order 2009

Effective from 1 October

What does it mean?

The maximum weekly amount for calculating unfair dismissal and redundancy payments increases from £350 to £380. The limit is normally adjusted each February in line with the RPI and this has always led to a rise. The current RPI would, however, most likely have led to the limit remaining the same or falling to £340.


The limit of £380 will remain in place until February 2011. This increased level of termination liability will have an adverse financial effect on employers who are struggling more than ever in the current economic climate.

Kate Holbrook, associate, Dechert

Data Protection (Notification and Notification Fees) (Amendment) Regulations 2009

Effective from 1 October

What does it mean?

Under a new two-tier structure public authorities and private organisations that have been in existence for more than one month, have annual turnover of at least £25.9m and have 250 or more employees (Tier 2 organisations) will be subject to a £500 registration fee. The previous flat fee of £35 will still apply to all other, Tier 1 organisations. Charities and small occupational schemes will always fall into Tier 1 regardless of size and turnover.


The aim is to ensure the fee structure is fairer, reflecting the resources invested by the ICO in regulating larger organisations. It will result in a significant increase in fees for these larger organisations, with a particular impact on group companies where there is often more than one data controller within the group.

Catriona Aldridge, solicitor, Dundas & Wilson

Tips: National Minimum Wage Regulations 1999 (Amendment) Regulations 2009 prevents tips being included in minimum wages

Effective from 1 October

What does it mean?

This will change the way that tips, service charges and tronc payments are treated for NMW purposes. Troncs operate where tips are centrally pooled and then distributed by an employee appointed as troncmaster.


Employers will not be permitted to take into account any gratuity payments paid to workers when assessing whether the NMW is being paid, irrespective of whether they are paid directly to the workers, paid by the employer through its payroll or paid through a troncmaster. Employers should therefore ensure that their basic wages rates comply with the NMW without any service charges or gratuities being taken into account.

James Williams, partner, Archon

Police Act 1997 (Criminal Records) (NO 2) Regulations 2009,

Effective from 12 October

What does it mean?

The regulations make changes to the process of issuing certificates by the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) and introduce a new Vetting and Barring Scheme (VBS). The latter scheme was established under the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006 (see below). The VBS will become the first centralised system for those working with children and vulnerable people.


Employers and those working in the voluntary sector therefore will have to carefully review and identify who carries out tasks that could be covered by the VBS. They must ensure they carry out enhanced checks now and that any new employees, those moving jobs and volunteers will be ISA registered.

Pam Loch, founder, Loch Associates

Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act 2006

Effective from 12 October

What does it mean?

The Act introduces a centralised vetting system for people working with children and vulnerable adults. The new Independent Safeguarding Authority (ISA) will be operational from 12 October 2009. Employees and volunteers will need to apply to register with the ISA and will be assessed using data gathered by the Criminal Records Bureau. Only ISA-registered persons can undertake regulated activity, involving frequent or intensive contact with children or vulnerable adults. Employers who employ an unregistered person could be imprisoned or fined up to £5,000. Registration and checking will become mandatory in November 2010.


Employers need to review their recruitment procedures to ensure that the necessary checks are carried out and to prepare for vetting all their existing staff. In addition, employers will need to put in place policies governing the information which will be provided to the ISA. The biggest potential problem with the ISA is likely to be delay. In 2004 a backlog of CRB applications caused chaos in the education and childcare sectors. The introduction of the ISA could see this repeated on a larger scale.

Mary Clarke, employment partner, DLA Piper

If you’re worried about how these changes might affect your business, call us for a free consultation today on 01202 853647 or visit


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