Mine bosses are increasingly using social media to spy on worker behaviour and use it as a weapon to discipline or even dismiss them, an industry group has warned.
The Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining and Energy Union (CFMMEU) is urging workers to think twice about the consequences of posting photos, comments and other content to social media.
The union revealed many mine supervisors routinely search through staff social media feeds to investigate sick leave requests and other employee behaviour that could result in disciplinary action or even termination.
“Remember, if you’re reading this on Facebook there’s every chance Richard from HR is too,” CFMMEU said on its website.
“Don’t make comments that reflect negatively on your employer, don’t share confidential information [and] don’t comment on issues you aren’t authorised to … be very careful about what you say online about your employer and workplace. If in doubt, say nothing.”
Posts can be traced
The union said BHP’s social media policy as a classic example where “casual and spontaneous activity” can be saved permanently and traced back to the responsible employee.
“We want you to be able to make good decisions and avoid activity that could result in negative consequences for you, such as criticism by external parties, personal information theft or disciplinary action by the company,” the policy wording said according to a CFMMEU spokesperson.
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It can be most unwise to check in at the airport, upload photos that appear to be taken while on a holiday or attending a wild party. The union confirmed it has members who were dismissed for inappropriately spending their personal leave.
“If you can’t stay away, stick to updates from your sick bed,” the spokesperson said. “Even though you’re not ‘friends’ with the boss on Facebook, always assume that your social media posts can find their way into the wrong hands. Believe us, they frequently do.”