Activities outside work.

June 2, 2021

It’s always difficult when somebody does something outside work which is highly public which you know will be disapproved of by both your clients and fellow employees. However, it’s important to recognise the limitations of the relationship between you and an employee and what they do outside work provided it isn’t associated with work.

However, if they are involved in something which directly affects their work and adversely affects the business you are able to do something about it. This is particularly true if your staff are responsible for caring for vulnerable children or adults. We recently dealt with a case where a carer had been found guilty of a criminal offence which clearly brought into question their ability to perform their task and indeed had they had a criminal record of this kind in the first place they would never have been employed.

it is possible to terminate their employment. However, it is a good idea to ensure that you make that clear in any contracts of employment that actions outside of work could have an effect on their continued employment.

A good example of this is in the strange world of social media. Often people will make comments on social media that they would never dream of making to somebody’s face and if they do so whilst at the same time causing adverse publicity to yourselves or indeed threatening the safety of their fellow employees, it is possible to take disciplinary action about against them.

When writing terms and conditions for care homes or other organisations that provide care to vulnerable people, we always say that employees are barred from mentioning anything to do with work on social media sites unless they have the express permission of a senior manager. The vast bulk of people will comply with this without further thought however you may need to remind people who don’t think before they post. Perhaps a new safety message should be “don’t drink and type”!

However there have been cases where an employee’s careless posting on social media who’s actually helped the employer and I’m reminded of a recent case where a worker in a local nursery phoned in saying that they were suffering from flu and that afternoon posted on Facebook that they were sat in the garden sharing a couple of bottles of wine with their mates and that they will be cranking up the stereo in no time to indulge in a bit of dancing which would soon appear on Tik Tok

You won’t be surprised to know that their employment didn’t last much longer the video on Tik Tok of them “twerking” in the garden!