Employers use Facebook to catch out staff, survey finds


Employees have been advised of the need to watch their online behaviour after a new study revealed that bosses are increasingly turning to the internet to monitor their staff's actions.

According to the survey of 1039 employees and 647 employers, which was undertaken by the employment law consultancy Peninsula Ireland, companies are using social networking sites to check the validity of staff out sick.

The survey indicates that 83 per cent of employers have monitored individual's Facebook statuses to check whether an employee was truly ill with the result that 67 per cent of company bosses have disciplined staff for bogus sickness after discovering the real reason for them being absent through the popular website.

The study also reveals that 74 per cent of Irish employees have admitted to being caught out by their boss for using social networking websites during work hours.

Alan Price, head of Peninsula Ireland warned employees to be wary of logging on to such sites during the working day so as to avoid disciplinary procedures.

"Irish employers are now using social networking sites as a tool to combat false sickness, and as the survey shows, it is proving a rather effective tactic. Employees should realise that there is a chance they are being monitored in this way and that their bosses will no longer tolerate their false absences.” said Mr Price.

He also advised staff that employers are also monitoring social networking websites during the recruitment process in order to find out more about potential recruits.