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
We round up our resources that will help employers avoid problems at the work party and manage other issues that can arise during the festive season. Our resources include research on employers' arrangements for work, rest and celebrations over the Christmas and New Year period.
Six Ryanair cabin crew were dismissed by the airline this week for "breach of trust" after a photograph was circulated on social media showing the employees apparently asleep on the floor at an airport crew room.
This week's Court of Appeal decision that Morrisons was vicariously liable for a serious data breach by a disgruntled employee has got employers worried.
XpertHR research looks at employers' arrangements for work, rest and celebrations over the Christmas period.
Updated to include information on the Court of Appeal decision in Bellman v Northampton Recruitment Ltd on vicarious liability for a managing director's "brutal assault" of an employee.
Updated to refer to Richard v British Broadcasting Corporation, which dealt with damages for reputational harm in privacy cases.
A recruitment agency has been held vicariously liable for the actions of its managing director after he punched someone and caused them brain damage at a Christmas party.
XpertHR explores the different approaches taken by employers to dress and appearance in the workplace and the challenges involved in ensuring that rules are followed
Glassdoor's employer reviews pose a challenge to organisations: use the forum as an opportunity for more engagement and increase transparency, or rely on traditional, more controlled ways of communicating with prospective candidates. Does it foster a more open culture or just another opportunity to offload on social media? Adam McCulloch reports.
UK employees take a more lenient approach than the European average to questionable workplace behaviour but are more likely to blow the whistle if they are aware of misconduct, according to research into employees' experiences of ethics.
HR and legal information and guidance relating to personal appearance and behaviour.