Welcome to our new E Bulletin format generated from our website.
Soon you will be provided with a unique ‘Member Logon’ so that you can access ‘member only’ information and advice so watch out for this advice in the near future.
This article continues a recent series we began on ‘Social Media’ and discusses the concept of ‘sufficient connection’ the content for which I acknowledge a recent article from ‘HR Daily’.
Conduct must pass the ‘sufficient connection’ test
With bullying and harassment claims occurring more frequently outside of the workplace environment this can present employers with some difficulties since employees often no longer work simply at their desk or purely within a single workplace. Work activities extends to the home, on mobile phones, blackberries, laptops…the list goes on.
With this in mind it becomes increasingly difficult for people to understand how what ‘they’ (ie the employee)perceive to be personal space and how personal comments can be interpreted to affect their workplace.
To ascertain whether such conduct has a relevant connection to employment employers should assess three elements according to Ashurst Lawyer ‘Taboka Finn’.
- The employment relationship – whether the conduct when viewed objectively is likely to cause serious damage to the relationship between the employer and the employee.
- Business Interests – is the conduct likely to damage the employer’s business interests – this conduct includes actual but also future or potential damage even negative publicity or reputational damage.
- Incompatibility with employee duties – within any employment relationship is an implied common law duty of fidelity and good faith, this implication works in limiting or stopping out of hours conduct which breaches this implied fidelity or trust.
As we have stated in previous articles the importance of clear policy and guidelines in this area is critical to managing issues appropriately.
Call Workwise for further assistance in this increasingly critical area.