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Social Media Policy Fill out the template

Social Media Policy

Last revision
Last revision 18/05/2020
Formats
Formats Word and PDF
Size
Size 6 to 10 pages
Rating 4 - 1 vote
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Last revision: 18/05/2020

Size: 6 to 10 pages

Available formats: Word and PDF

Rating: 4 - 1 vote

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Social Media Policy

A Social Media Policy is a document established by the Employer that outlines the rules, practices, and procedures for Employees using social media, either on their own time or when representing the Employer.

In a Social Media Policy, the Employer informs Employees about the standards that are expected of them while using social media. This may cover such matters as whether the Employees can use social media during work hours, whether they can use it on the Employer's computers or other devices, whether they can publish information about the Employer, or whether they can present themselves online as a representative of the Employer.

Generally, Employer policies (such as a Social Media Policy) don't have to be approved by Employees. While Employment Agreements are often negotiated between Employees and Employers, Social Media Policies (and other Employer policies) are more of a reference point regarding the Employer's standard procedures and guidelines.

In addition to a Social Media Policy, many Employers have other documents to address various other employment related matters. We have a number of these types of documents available for download, including an Employee Handbook, Drug and Alcohol Policy, and a Discrimination Policy. These documents can work in conjunction with the Social Media Policy.


How to use this document

This document should be used by an Employer that wants to set out their rules regarding Employee use of social media.

The Employer can enter their relevant details at the start of the document, and can select various options throughout the document to adapt it to their particular circumstances.

The Employer should ensure that the document accurately reflects their actual approach to these matters.

Once the document has been completed, it can be made available to Employees. It may be provided to new Employees when they first start working with the Employer. For existing Employees, it may be distributed, together with a message to notify them that this document outlines the Employer's updated approach to social media.

In any event, it is important that the details of this Policy are actually communicated to Employees, and that Employees actually understand what is expected of them.

Some Employers choose to have Employees sign a copy of the document, to confirm that they have read and understood it. Signed copies may be kept on file by the Employer. This document has an option to include space for the Employee to sign it.

Some Employers also choose to make reference to this Policy within the Employment Contract.


Applicable law

Social Media Policies may be affected by various Australian laws.

For example, if bullying, harassment, victimisation or discrimination takes place via social media, then this may be affected by legislation such as:

  • Australian Human Rights Commission Act 1986 (Commonwealth)
  • Racial Discrimination Act 1975 (Commonwealth)
  • Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (Commonwealth)
  • Age Discrimination Act 2004 (Commonwealth)
  • Sex Discrimination Act 1984 (Commonwealth)

If defamation occurs via social media, then this may be affected by legislation such as:

  • Civil Law (Wrongs) Act, 2002 (ACT)
  • Defamation Act, 2006 (NT)
  • Defamation Act, 2005 (NSW)
  • Defamation Act, 2005 (QLD)
  • Defamation Act, 2005 (SA)
  • Defamation Act, 2005 (TAS)
  • Defamation Act, 2005 (VIC)
  • Defamation Act, 2005 (WA)

If an employee's use of social media leads to issues in relation to health and safety, then this may be affected by state or territory legislation in relation to work health and safety. Further information is available from Safe Work Australia.

In addition, the Fair Work Act 2009 (Commonwealth) deals with other employment matters such as unfair dismissal.

Ordinary principles of contract law, as provided by the common law, may also apply to the general terms of the employee's employment.


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