7 DVLA employees suspended over Facebook comments

The suspension of seven employees at the DVLA head office in Swansea over "inappropriate" comments made on Facebook should act as a caution for all people who use social media sites.

The staff in question were suspended for writing personal comments on Facebook, even though they were said to have been written outside of work on their own devices - the company bans access to social media sites on work computers. The comments, said to include lewd jokes, were then reported to management who have begun a disciplinary process. The employees have been suspended until the investigation is completed.

In 2012 the DVLA sacked three employees for misuse of social media, which included unsuitable comments about the DVLA, its customers, and fellow employees.

This case and others like it highlight the growing importance of the role Facebook and other social media sites are now playing across all areas of public life. People need to stop thinking of social media sites as a private conversation, and educate themselves of the potential consequences that can arise through misuse and inappropriate comments.

Social media sites are cited in a third of all divorces in Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK, and are featuring regularly in employment dismissals, compensation claims, libel cases, and on other legal matters.

If you are an employer or employee requiring legal advice in respect of an issue at work, contact one of the employment law solicitors at Wilson Nesbitt in Belfast by calling 0800 840 9296.

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