Editor's message: Having policies in place on employee behaviour and appearance helps your employees know what standards are expected of them, in relation to their dress, use of social media or behaviour at work-related social events, for example.
Properly implemented policies can help to avoid tribunal claims against your organisation, and potential liability for the actions of an employee, such as for harassment. But legal action is clearly not your only concern; employee behaviour that comes to the attention of social media and brings your organisation into disrepute can be even more damaging.
You need to make sure your policies on employees’ appearance and behaviour do not themselves put your organisation’s reputation at risk, through being discriminatory or otherwise out of step with current attitudes. For example, could your dress code result in a petition with more than 150,000 signatures and an investigation by a Parliamentary committee, as happened when receptionist Nicola Thorp was sent home from an agency assignment with PwC for wearing flat shoes?
With the introduction of the GDPR, you are likely to have been particularly focused on data protection issues, which should include keeping on top of how employees are using your communications technology. Having policies on this can help to prevent data breaches and other unlawful processing of personal data.
Susie Munro, senior employment law editor
Nick Chronias, partner at DAC Beachcroft LLP, joins us to discuss the common issues for employers relating to social media misconduct.
How can employers prevent employees from electioneering at work? Should the workforce be banned from highlighting their political allegiances in the workplace? What if colleagues argue over opposing political views? With a general election taking place on 12 December, we look at five employment issues when politics and the workplace mix.
Updated to include dates for the 2020 Olympics and the football European Championships.
Widespread environmental protests, such as the Extinction Rebellion, are having an increasing everyday impact on employers. We round up potential issues for HR professionals who are dealing with disruption to their employer's operations as a result of climate change protests.
Banning staff from accessing emails outside office hours could harm their wellbeing rather than improve work-life balance, a study from the University of Sussex has claimed.
Updated to include information on the FCA's findings on the implementation of the rules on research unbundling.
Following high-profile cyber crime incidents, Jon Abbott investigates how HR can minimise the cyber threat, given that employees represent a significant risk.
We discuss workplace dress codes and reflect on recent research we have carried out in this area.
In the aftermath of Danny Baker's sacking from the BBC this week for tweeting what he later described was an "idiotic" joke about the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's new-born son, Kirsty Cooke investigates how employers should handle their employees' use of social media.
Updated to refer to Atherton v Bensons Vending Ltd, in which an employee's derogatory comments about his employer on Facebook did not justify the withholding of notice pay.
HR and legal information and guidance relating to personal appearance and behaviour.