TUC: Guidelines needed for social networking at work
Guidance needs to be provided for managers so they know how to deal with employees who use social networking sites at work, an industry body has suggested.
The Trades Union Congress (TUC) believes that people are increasingly using sites such as Facebook and Twitter to chat to their friends as well as to assist them in their work.
This causes problems because employers are then too quick to overreact and discipline staff too harshly.
Brendan Barber, the general secretary of the TUC, said: "Employers should sit down with unions and staff to agree the ground rules on internet usage [so] that everyone knows what they can and can't do."
He added that employees will always need a certain level of privacy at work.
A spokesperson for ClickAJob points out that social networking has already become an accepted part of daily life and employers should recognise this.
"When the telephone was first invented, there was the issue of employees taking calls at work," he reminds.
"Closer to our time, managers have had to deal with staff carrying their own mobiles and the texting phenomenon."
"Now it's not just social networking, workers today are walking around with the entire internet available to them on a hand-held device - it's a revolution that won't go away," he continues.
"Managers really need to take on board that personal communication is an asset more than a liability and think around ways to encourage its use constructively."
This news comes after Kimberley Swann, an administrator from Clacton, Essex, was sacked after labelling her job as 'boring' on her Facebook profile page.