LIFE BITE: Slagging off your Boss on Social Media?? Think Twice!!

apple-150579_1280Okay,  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!

MGavinTHIs ‘Life Bite’ was provided BY MARY GAVIN who is aN EMPLOYMENT LAW Solicitor at Francis Hanna & Co.    If you require Employment Law advice please contact Mary Gavin on 028 90243901 or email at

LIFE BITE: Lord Behaving Badly : Gross Misconduct in the Workplace?

apple-150579_1280This week, there has been public outrage at media revelations surrounding House of Lords peer Lord Sewel allegedly taking drugs with prostitutes.

Lord Sewel had been urged to resign from the House of Lords after video footage was published in The Sun newspaper of him snorting cocaine.

The  House of Lords (Suspension and Expulsion) Act 2015 allows peers to be barred from Parliament if they breach the code of conduct.  The code states that members must “always act on their personal honour”.

Most of us in our jobs will be required to adhere to an appropriate code of conduct which is set out by our employers. This code of conduct may apply to both our behaviour in and out of the workplace.

Whilst your employer must normally follow certain procedures in order to dismiss you from your job, if your behaviour in or outside of the workplace amounts to gross misconduct they may be able to automatically dismiss you without going through the normal disciplinary procedures.

For more information on this area, please read our blog on Unfair Dismissal or alternatively contact us directly.