Tricuro employees should contact the HR&OD Advisory Service for information about the relevant policy and procedure.

The council recognises the corporate benefits of social networking and has an online presence. There are also personal benefits for individuals, particularly in rural areas and members of staff may be users of social networking sites.

When using social networking sites employees need to be careful about the information they are sharing. Whilst the Dorset Council does not wish to undermine the benefits of social networking sites, it does wish to protect its own security and reputation.

The social networking policy helps protect the Dorset Council's reputation as well as service users, partners and others connected with the Dorset Council. It is important to maintain confidentiality and respect others' privacy. You should not refer to others connected with the Dorset Council without firstly obtaining their express permission to do so.

Employees of Dorset Council have to abide by all relevant UK legislation affecting IT, including that which relates to data protection and copyright.

Appropriate use of social networking sites

You may wish to review your social networking pages to consider whether the information you have made public is appropriate and whether your privacy settings are adequate.

Even if you do not expressly identify yourself as an employee of the council, it may be possible to identify you as an employee by the content of information you have posted or through other work colleagues you are friends with.

If you choose to identify yourself as an employee of the council, it is your responsibility to ensure that it is clear that any personal opinions expressed are yours and not that of the Dorset Council (unless you are authorised to speak officially on behalf of the council).

You must ensure when talking about the council over social media, that any information you put in to the public domain is not in breach of legislation which relates to data protection or copyright.

Inappropriate use of social networking sites

  • posting comments or other content which may damage the reputation of the council, including negative comments about your employment with the Dorset Council
  • taking part in discussions about information which is confidential to the Dorset Council
  • posting offensive comments or allegations about another employee or individual connected with the Dorset Council
  • posting pictures of, or details about, others connected with the council without their prior permission
  • posting comments or information on behalf of the council, where you are not authorised to do so
  • posting comments which may appear to be designed to affect support for a political party if it is unclear that the views are entirely your own
  • using social networking sites for personal purposes during working time
  • communication with service users to establish a non-working relationship, e.g. requesting, or accepting a request, to become a 'friend' of a service user where the motive for this may be misinterpreted

Any inappropriate use of social networking sites that has a bearing on an individual's employment relationship with the Dorset Council, or may bring the council into disrepute, may lead to investigation under the disciplinary procedure.

Any instances of bullying or harassment, even if outside of working hours, will be dealt with by Dorset Council under the grievance resolution policy.

Blogging and commenting on the intranet

We encourage the use of commenting on the intranet and it's now possible to create your own blog as well. However, the use of these facilities needs a little consideration, as such both the commenting guidelines and blogging guidelines will help you understand what is expected.

What to do if you find inappropriate content on social media sites

If you are aware of inappropriate behaviour, ensure that you either tell someone, such as your manager, or do something (if you are the manager). Contact the Communications team for further advice.

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