Employee Social Media Policy

RATIONALE

This policy applies to all Maryborough Education Centre (MEC) employees when they engage in social media activity in the following circumstances :

  • While performing work for the organisation, regardless of where it is performed
  • When using the organisations IT systems or equipment even if for personal use
  • When conveying information about the organisation or a stakeholder

Social media activity include:

  • Interacting with social networking sites, eg. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Yammer
  • Interacting with video and photo sharing websites, e. g. Flickr, You Tube, Instagram, Pinterest
  • Interacting with blogs, including corporate blogs and personal blogs
  • Interacting with blogs hosted by media outlets, eg. “comments” or “your say” feature on the age.com.au
  • Micro-blogging, eg. Twitter
  • Interacting with wikis and online collaborations, eg. Wikipedia
  • Interacting with forums, discussion boards and groups, eg.Google groups, Whirlpool

Stakeholder means a person or entity that is or was a client, supplier, employee or contractor in relation to this organisation (or is a prospective client, supplier, employer or contractor in relation to this organisation).

Social media activity has risks for the organisation

Posting or sharing information on social media and online generally is not like having a verbal conversation with a person or group of people.  This equally applies to any posts you make regarding your work.

“Conversations” or posts online are in electronic form and have potentially wider circulation than a personal discussion.  The nature of social media platforms means that comments might easily be forwarded on to others, widening the audience for their publication.  Even if you limit the privacy settings on your social media platform to your “friends” or “contacts”, your “friends” or “contacts” might include individual stakeholders.

Further, social media platforms leave an often permanent written record of statements and comments made by people.  These can be read at any time in the future until they are taken down and because of the nature of the Internet, it can be difficult (if not impossible) to remove information.

Considerable care should be used in using social networking sites and an awareness that making comments or conducting conversations that relate to the organisation can affect the reputation of the business.

Unacceptable use of social media

Unless prior written permission is provided, when using social media you must not :

  • Disclose or use information that is confidential to the organisation
  • Engage in excessive non work-related use of social media during work hours
  • Post anything in which this organisation or any other person has intellectual property rights
  • Convey information that would allow a reasonable person to ascertain the work being performed for this organisation or the identity of a stakeholder and their relationship with the organisation.
  • When using IT systems, use any other person’s ID or logon details or otherwise impersonate any other person
  • Disparage, criticise or show disrespect for any stakeholder
  • Discriminate, harass, bully or victimise any stakeholder
  • performance management processes

If you become aware of unacceptable use of social media as described above, you must notify your supervisor.

Consequences of breaching this policy

A breach of this policy may result in disciplinary action, which may include the termination of employment.

You may be required to delete any information contained on any social media platform that is a breach of this policy

Access to social media may be restricted for breaching this policy (or while complaints against individuals are investigated)

Monitoring

When employees engage in social media activities using the organisations’ IT systems, the IT department will collect and retain information about that activity, including the content of any communications.  The purpose of collecting this information will be to ensure that the interests of co-workers and the organisation are not adversely affected by the conduct of that employee.  The information will be kept secure and will only be disclosed to persons within the organisation as is necessary to ensure compliance with this policy.

Review period

This policy was last updated on Wednesday 30th October, 2019 and is scheduled for review as part of the school’s 3 year review cycle.

This policy was last ratified by School Council on Wednesday 30th October, 2019.