Companies are failing to adhere to the law around social media when recruiting. Research from law firm Faegre Baker Daniels revealed that whilst three in four respondents searched online for information about a job applicant, two thirds of companies do not tell applicants they are doing so. Over half of employers (53 per cent) rigorously enforce their social media policy when a serious issue arises whilst just 14 per cent of respondents had taken disciplinary action based on an employee’s social media activity.
Huw Beverley-Smith, intellectual property partner at Faegre Baker Daniels, says of the research: 'Checks and balances need to be put in place to ensure social media isn’t being misused in the workplace, but employees do have a basic right to privacy at work. It is important that employers understand the legal obligations surrounding monitoring, as monitoring of employees’ health and working patterns through wearable technology becomes more prevalent. Employers can only monitor with caution and an example of best practice is to conduct an impact assessment before monitoring. Only a third (33 per cent) of respondents in our poll were aware of the need for an impact assessment before monitoring.'