Whilst the EAT declined to give any specific guidance to employers on how to deal with dismissals for misuse of social media in the case of The British Waterways Board trading as Scottish Canals v Smith, it is clear that employers dealing with social media misconduct should:
1. Have a considered social media policy in place which has been communicated to staff. The policy should make it clear that misuse of social media, whether at work or at home, may be regarded as gross misconduct.
2. Investigate any complaints thoroughly.
3. Follow a fair procedure.
4. Give the employee a chance to respond to the allegations at a properly convened disciplinary hearing.
5. Consider carefully everything the employee says in mitigation.
6. Come to a genuine belief based on reasonable grounds.
7. Give the employee the right to appeal.
You can read about the case here: http://www.bailii.org/uk/cases/UKEAT/2015/0004_15_0308.html
Our news update summarising the case is available here