Employment Law Bulletin February 2015

Wednesday 25 February 2015


“Think I just hit a cyclist. But Im [sic] late for work so had to drive off lol.”

Newspapers reported that the author of that tweet was sacked by his employer last month, despite his claim that there was no truth in what he had written and that it was just a bad joke.

Whatever the facts and the rights and wrongs (and as both a cyclist and a stickler for punctuation my opinion is that dismissal was entirely justified), the story is a reminder of the ever-changing challenges facing organisations all over the world, keen to not be tainted by association. The worldwide context is important because any single comment on social media has the potential to go global almost instantly.

One thing is certain in all of this – having a well-worded, well-communicated social media policy is more important than ever. Even if it does not eliminate employees’ misuse of Twitter, Facebook and the like, it will at least put you in a stronger position if you are forced to defend their dismissal.

Out of time at tribunal but claim goes on
Nayif v High Commission of Brunei Darussalam

Claimants have a three-month time limit to notify Acas that they want to bring a discrimination claim in the Employment Tribunal. Some employers will watch the clock tick down and, once those three months have passed, feel pretty safe in the knowledge that they are not going to face a claim.

There is, however, one important fact to bear in mind: the Employment Tribunal is not the only forum for employment-related claims. Some cases can be brought in the County Court or High Court where longer limitation periods apply. That is what has happened here.