This policy is intended to help staff and members make appropriate decisions about the use of social media and all its forums.
This policy outlines the standards we require staff and members to observe when using social media, the circumstances in which we will monitor your use of social media and the action we will take in respect of breaches of this policy.
This policy does not form any part of any contract of employment that staff may have and it may be amended at any time. Who is covered by the policy This policy covers all individuals working at all levels.
The scope of the policy
All staff and members are expected to comply with this policy at all times to protect the privacy, confidentiality and interests of the Council and our services, employees, partners and customers.
Breach of this policy will be dealt with and, in serious cases, may be treated as gross misconduct leading to summary dismissal.
Responsibility for implementation of the policy
The Town Clerk has overall responsibility for the effective operation of this policy,
All staff and members are responsible for their own compliance with this policy and for ensuring that it is consistently applied. All staff should ensure that they take the time to read and understand it. Any breach of policy should be reported to the Town Clerk.
Rules for use of social media
Always write in the first person, identify who you are and what your role is.
Do not upload, post, forward or post a link to any abusive, obscene, discriminatory, harassing, derogatory or defamatory content.
Any member of staff or member who feels they have been harassed, bullied, or are offended by material posted by a colleague onto a social media website should inform the Town Clerk.
Councillor Jonathan Preece Town Mayor
Heather Lawler Town Clerk Town Hall
- Telephone: 01748 850808
- Fax: 01748 823520
- Website: www.richmondtowncouncil.org.uk
- E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Never disclose commercially sensitive, anti competitive, private or confidential information. If you are unsure whether the information you wish to share falls into one of these categories, you should discuss it with the Town Clerk.
Do not upload, post, forward any content belonging to a third party unless you have that third party’s consent.
It is acceptable to quote a small excerpt from an article, particularly for the purposes of commenting on it or criticising it. Quote accurately, include references and when in doubt, link, don’t copy.
Be honest and open, but be mindful of the impact your contribution might make to peoples perception of Town Council. If you make a mistake in your contribution , be prompt in admitting it and correcting it.
You are personally responsible for content you publish into social media tools – be aware that what you publish will be public for many years. Don’t escalate heated discussions.
If you feel even slightly uneasy about something you are about to publish, then you shouldn’t do it. Do not discuss colleagues, competitors, customers or suppliers without their prior approval. If you notice any content posted on social media about Town Council then please report it to the Town Clerk.
If you notice any use of social media by other members of staff or members in breach of this policy then please report it to the Town Clerk.
In particular uploading, posting, forwarding or posting a link to any of the following types of materials on a social media website, whether in a professional or personal capacity, will amount to gross misconduct (this list is not exhaustive)
- pornographic material (this is writing, pictures, films and video clips of a sexually explicit nature).
- a false and defamatory statement about any person or organisation
- material which is offensive, obscene, criminal, discriminatory, derogatory or may cause embarrassment to us, our clients or our staff.
- confidential information about us or any of our staff.
- any other statement which is likely to create any liability (whether criminal or civil, and whether for you or for us).
- material in breach of copyright or other intellectual property rights, or which invades the privacy of any person.
The Town Clerk shall be responsible for reviewing this policy and is to ensure it meets legal requirements and reflects best practice.