Many businesses are still ignoring the risks of social media

A recent report has indicated that whilst numerous employers are engaging with social media many are still ignoring the risks it poses.  The study indicated that 76% of businesses surveyed reported having a social media presence but only 23% had a stand-alone dedicated social media policy.  Equally alarming was the limited number of employers that have adjusted employment contracts to address the social media phenomenon.  Many reported that they did not have appropriate restrictions governing the post employment use of contacts on social media sites.

Whilst most businesses are alert to the need to protected confidential information in documents and IT systems, and have recognised business risks of employees using social media at work,  many have failed to make the leap into cyberspace and address the risks that networking sites such as LinkedIn pose to their business contacts once an employee departs.

It is too frequently the case that employment contracts contain restrictions on poaching clients which are too widely drafted to be enforceable – the omission of “material” in a restriction reading “clients with whom you have had material contact” can be all it takes to collapse an otherwise enforceable restriction.  Others contain restrictions which were drafted at a time when social media risks were not being properly considered.

If you would like guidance on post employment restrictions, developing or updating a social media policy or would like to purchase our “off the shelf” policy you can update internally please contact : [email protected]