Social Media Policy

Business Rocks


1.   Policy statement

1.1. Employees’ and contractors’ use of social media on our behalf can pose risks to our confidential and proprietary information, and reputation, and can jeopardise our compliance with legal obligations.

1.2. To minimise these risks, employees, consultants, contractors, trainees, homeworkers, part-time and fixed-term employees, casual and agency staff and volunteers (collectively referred to as “staff” in this policy) must adhere to this policy.

1.3. This policy does not form part of any employee’s contract of employment or of any contractor’s agreement and it may be amended at any time.

2.   Scope and purpose of the policy

2.1. This policy deals with the use of all forms of social media, including Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Wikipedia, all other social networking sites, and all other internet postings, including blogs.

2.2. Staff may be required to remove internet postings which are deemed to constitute a breach of this policy.  Failure to comply with such a request may in itself result in disciplinary action or constitute a breach of contract entitling us to terminate a consultant’s or contractor’s contact.

3.   Compliance with related policies and agreements

3.1. Social media should never be used in a way that breaches any of our other policies.  If an internet post would breach any of our policies in another forum, it will also breach them in an online forum. For example, staff are prohibited from using social media to:

3.2. Staff should never provide references for other individuals on social or professional networking sites, as such references, positive and negative, can be attributed to the organisation and create legal liability for both the author of the reference and the organisation.

4.   Monitoring

4.1. The contents of our IT resources and communications systems are our property. Therefore, staff should have no expectation of privacy in any message, files, data, document, facsimile, telephone conversation, social media post conversation or message, or any other kind of information or communications transmitted to, received or printed from, or stored or recorded on our electronic information and communications systems.

4.2. We reserve the right to monitor, intercept and review, without further notice, staff activities using our IT resources and communications systems, including but not limited to social media postings and activities, to ensure that our rules are being complied with and for legitimate business purposes and you consent to such monitoring by your use of such resources and systems. This might include, without limitation, the monitoring, interception, accessing, recording, disclosing, inspecting, reviewing, retrieving and printing of transactions, messages, communications, postings, log-ins, recordings and other uses of the systems as well as keystroke capturing and other network monitoring technologies.

4.3. We may store copies of such data or communications for a period of time after they are created, and may delete such copies from time to time without notice.

4.4. Do not use our IT resources and communications systems for any matter that you wish to be kept private or confidential from the organisation.

5.   Business use of social media

5.1. If your duties require you to speak on behalf of the organisation in a social media environment, you must seek approval for such communication from EMMA BURFORD who may impose certain requirements and restrictions with regard to your activities.

5.2. Likewise, if you are contacted for comments about the organisation for publication anywhere, including in any social media outlet, direct the inquiry to EMMA BURFORD and do not respond without written approval.

6.   Responsible use of social media

6.1. The following sections of the policy provide staff with common-sense guidelines and recommendations for using social media responsibly and safely.

6.2. Protecting our business reputation:

(a) Staff must not post disparaging or defamatory statements about:

(i) our organisation;

(ii) our clients;

(iii) suppliers and vendors; and

(iv) other affiliates and stakeholders,

but staff should also avoid social media communications that might be misconstrued in a way that could damage our business reputation, even indirectly.

(b) Staff should make it clear in social media postings that they are speaking on their own behalf.  Write in the first person and use a personal e-mail address when communicating via social media.

(c) Staff are personally responsible for what they communicate in social media. Remember that what you publish might be available to be read by the masses (including the organisation itself, future employers and social acquaintances) for a long time. Keep this in mind before you post content.

(d) Avoid posting comments about sensitive business-related topics, such as our performance.  Even if you make it clear that your views on such topics do not represent those of the organisation, your comments could still damage our reputation.

(e) If you are uncertain or concerned about the appropriateness of any statement or posting, refrain from making the communication.

(f) If you see content in social media that disparages or reflects poorly on our organisation, you should advise EMMA BURFORD.

6.3. Respecting intellectual property and confidential information:

(a) Staff should not do anything to jeopardise our valuable trade secrets and other confidential information and intellectual property through the use of social media.

(b) In addition, staff should avoid misappropriating or infringing the intellectual property of other companies and individuals, which can create liability for the  organisation, as well as the individual author.

(c) Do not use our logos, brand names, slogans or other trademarks, or post any of our confidential or proprietary information without prior written permission.

6.4. Respecting colleagues, clients, partners and suppliers:

(a) Do not post anything that your colleagues or our customers, clients, business partners or suppliers would find offensive, including discriminatory comments, insults or obscenity.

(b) Do not post anything related to your colleagues or our customers, clients, business partners or suppliers without their written permission.

6.5. Comply with applicable law and regulations:

(a) Do not breach our obligations with respect to the rules of relevant regulatory bodies;

(b) Do not harass or bully other staff or any other person in any way;

(c) Do not unlawfully discriminate against staff or third parties;

(d) Do not breach our Data protection policy (for example, never disclose personal information about a colleague online);

(e) Do not breach any other laws, regulations, codes or ethical standards (for example, never use social media in a false or misleading way, such as by claiming to be someone other than yourself or by making misleading statements).

(f) Comply fully with the CAP Code in every marketing communication made via social media.