1. Can the employer restrict the employee’s use of Internet and social media during working hours?
Yes. It is advisable (although not required) for employers to have in place a policy regulating employee access to and usage of the Internet and social media at the workplace. In many businesses, employee access to certain social media and other leisure-related websites is blocked altogether during office hours.
2. Employee’s use of social media to disparage the employer or divulge confidential information
An employer can discipline employees who disparage the employer or divulge confidential information via social media. With the increase of the usage of social media over recent years, coupled with a number of high-profile racism-related incidents involving employees posting racist comments to social media while employed, employers are increasingly implementing more rigorous social media policies, providing their employees with training and guidance in relation to what is appropriate to post on social media and what is not and disciplining (and firing in serious cases) employees who contravene the employer’s rules in this regard.