Okay, so you don’t particularly like your job – the hours suck, your boss is a bit of a pain and you’d generally much rather be somewhere else.
But be very careful before taking to Facebook to vent your frustrations!
In the case of British Waterways Board v Smith, it was held that it was fair to dismiss an employee for making derogatory comments about his work managers and work in general on Facebook, even despite the employee’s claim that the comments made were untrue.
Mr Smith had basically taken to social media to vent his annoyance and frustrations with his work and managers. He used what can only be described as offensive language when referring to managers and had claimed that two years earlier, he had been drinking whilst on standby duty (vodka and apple juice to be precise) which he referred to as “not to shabby” (sic).
Whilst Mr Smith denied that he had been drinking and claimed that the comments were ‘banter’, he was dismissed from work on the ground of gross misconduct as his comments had undermined the confidence his employer or the public could have in him.
It was initially found by the Employment Tribunal that Mr Smith’s employer should have considered that his comments were exaggerated or not true however, the Employment Appeal Tribunal overturned that decision and held that the dismissal was fair.
Employees should be careful about what they post on social media as although comments regarding work may be meant as a joke or used as an avenue to express frustration, they can have drastic results!