King & Wood Mallesons

Asia-Pacific 100 position: 2

The Fair Work Commission’s changing views on social media

By John Renda

The Fair Work Commission has upheld the dismissal of an employee who refused to acknowledge that he had read and understood his employer’s social media policy, which extended to conduct outside of work.

The employee was sacked for cumulative breaches of the employer’s policies, including its social media policy. The breaches of the social media policy related to the employee’s refusal to sign an acknowledgement that he had read and understood the policy, as he saw its application outside of work as overreaching. The employee claimed he had been unfairly dismissed, arguing that there was no valid reason for his termination.

The commission found that the persistent breaches of the employer’s policies (including the social media policy) constituted a valid reason for termination. The commission rejected the employee’s argument about the scope of the employer’s social media policy, providing useful guidance on social media policies in the workplace…

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