How to prevent Reputational damage: Five things employers should do

Nowadays, many people use social media to communicate with each other.
To protect your organisation’s reputation here is a list of five ways employers can reduce the risk.

1. Implement a tough social media policy.
Employers should implement a tough social media policy which sets out clear rules on social media use. For example, a policy can remind staff not to assume that comments they make on Twitter or Facebook are private. The policy should also clearly state that breaking the rules may lead to disciplinary action, including dismissal.

2. Handle inappropriate comments on social media quickly.
Where an employee has posted inappropriate comments about the organisation on social media, the employer should collect evidence and take steps to remove the material quickly by asking the employee to do so. The employer may also consider instigating disciplinary action. If a former employee has made inappropriate comments, the employer may ask the individual to remove them.
In addition, it may also request the host site to remove the comments as well as consider bringing legal action.

3. Train line managers in proper recruitment practices.
It is important that line managers manage the selection process in a professional manner, especially when informing someone that their application has been unsuccessful, as a displeased applicant may make a comment on social media.
Recent examples of recruitment mishaps have attracted widespread media interest, although they did not involve obvious breaches of employment law. One case involved a job applicant tweeting a screengrab of a text message, in which the employer gave a sarcastic explanation of why she was unsuccessful, together with a cry-laughing emoji. While another case concerned an email forwarded to the applicant by mistake, which described her in a negative way.

4. Warn staff of expected conduct outside the workplace.
Misconduct outside the workplace can negatively affect an organisation’s public image. It will be a good idea for Line managers to warn employees about their behaviour in advance of a workplace or public event. If an employee has committed a criminal offence outside work, the employer should consider dismissal only where continued employment would seriously damage the organisation’s reputation. Relationships outside work can also cause reputational issues, for example, where an employee maintains a relationship with someone who is accused of a criminal offence.

5. Prepare for gender pay gap reporting.
The deadline of publishing gender pay gap figures is on 4th April 2018. If you fail to publish it in time, it might risk negative publicity. Employers can avoid this by preparing for gender pay gap reporting now and putting their figures into context by producing a narrative commentary. A narrative can help limit potential reputational damage in terms of how the organisation is viewed by its customers, competitors and prospective employees.
For further information, please contact Koichiro Nakada – Head of Japan Business Group ( and Yoko Nakada - Senior Associate, Deputy Head of Japan Business Group (
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This information is supplied by Lewis Silkin LLP www.lewissilkin.comm

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