There is no doubt that the last 5-10 years has seen massive changes in technology and hand-in-hand with that the increased take-up of social media by individuals and by businesses as an effective marketing tool.
I would also suggest that almost everyone that has a Facebook or Twitter account has their own stories of “Posts” and “Tweets” that they would prefer were not in the public domain. In most cases they were put there not of their own making but were the result of others “friends” making comments on their page or account. Many of course have “posted” or “tweeted”; thought about what they have said, and upon reflection have thought they probably shouldn’t have said it – but it’s there for all to see.
This lack of consideration of consequences; naivety; a desire to express individual’s views, and often the need for revenge can have disastrous consequences on businesses and staff. This can often be the case with staff members who for whatever reason decide that they want to make public their views of other staff members and indeed their employers. For some it’s a quick and easy way to “vent” or exact revenge upon a person or an organisation. These comments can damage the reputation of a business, or it can result in bullying and harassment claims.
The Damaging Facebook Campaign
Most notably is the recent case of a Club in Brisbane where staff were not happy about being transferred to a labour hire company as the basis of their employment with the Club. Some of the disgruntled staff, with the assistance of other organisations started up a Facebook campaign page under the guise of a campaign against reduced penalty rates. Regardless of the truth surrounding all of the claims and counterclaims, that Club became the centre of this public campaign.
There were many disparaging posts and comments made by former staff, current staff and people who, in my view had no idea what the real issues were, but were happy to jump on the bandwagon. There is no doubt that the Club suffered considerable damage, if not to its reputation then certainly in the costs to mount a publicity defence against the Facebook campaign. One need only ponder if this sort of campaign would have been likely and as easily orchestrated 10 or 15 years ago when Facebook did not exist as it does now.
There has of course, been many cases in the Fair Work Commission (FWC) and other Tribunals and Courts that have had to deal with the fall-out from social media outcomes. These cases started in about 2011 with the infamous “Linfox” case where the employee pleaded ignorance and naivety in respect Facebook posts about the Company and other managers and colleagues. In this case it was found that the employee had been unfairly dismissed for a number of reasons, including upholding of the plea of ignorance as to how his Facebook page worked, as well as the fact that there was not a Social Media Policy in place at Linfox at the time to provide the employee with guidance as to what was acceptable or otherwise.
There are numerous cases where people have taken unfair dismissal claims resulting from termination because of social media comments, some have been successful and others not, and commentators have clearly indicated the lack of consistency from the FWC in their deliberations about social media matters.
This was demonstrated in the most recent case involving Centrelink when they dismissed a staff member who had publicly posted that Centrelink customers were “spastics” and “whinging junkies” and taking aim at the Government. In this case the dismissal was held to be unfair by Vice-President Hatcher of the FWC because of the employee’s extensive length of service of 20 years; that the conduct was not factually related to his work; and that the conduct caused no harm to the Department.
In spite of a perception of inconsistency arising from the FWC approach to these issues, there are some consistent principles that are critical for a dismissal of this kind to be upheld by the FWC. They are:
1. That it is important for the employer to have a clear policy on employees’ use of social media, covering what is and is not acceptable use (including examples) and setting out the consequences for misuse;
2. That the social media content must clearly identify the employer;
3. That the content must have the capacity to damage the employer’s reputation and business;
4. As knowledge and use of social media continue to expand rapidly, the ability of employees to argue they were unaware of how to control the use of it will diminish.
Need for Social Media Policy
It is absolutely critical to have a Social Media Policy in place before an employer can attempt to defend a dismissal based on inappropriate use of social media. The Policy needs to be a quality document that has application to your workplace. Here are some tips:
(a)It must be robust and is clear to the staff as to what is expected and what will not be tolerated in respect to social media, including the reference to the “Like” button;
(b)It must be a policy that is clearly understood;
(c)It must be properly communicated to all staff as part of an induction and refresher process;
(d)Ideally it should be referenced to your Bullying and Harassment and Anti-discrimination policies so that there is a clear link “cyber-bulling”
The bottom-line for businesses is, if you don’t have a social media policy in place, then you risk not being able to defend any disciplinary action that you take against staff who may have potentially damaged your business.
If you would like some help in drafting and implementing an effective Social Media Policy in your organisation, please don’t hesitate to call us at Effective Workplace Solutions
At Austbrokers Coast to Coast we are always looking for tools to assist our clients to minimise their risk. A claim is not always the best result and, even though we can put cover in place to protect you against lost stock and machinery breakdown - sometimes prevention is the best measure!
Maxichill Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Specialists have kindly supplied the following information on a device that monitors your cold rooms over 24 hours 7 days a week and prevents you arriving to work the next day to a disaster!
This not only keeps your business running but prevents multiple claims damaging your claims history and pushing your premiums up or, at worst, resulting in uninsurable items.
FRIGBOT Info Guide
Frigbot is designed to work with all major electronic refrigeration controllers such as Carel, Dixell and Eliwell.
How it works –
Your refrigeration is at your command with Frigbot. With immediate access to all the information from anywhere you know exactly what is happening at all times. You even receive alerts so your equipment can call you when it's in trouble. Download the free companion app to have your Frigbot's information in your pocket.
Frigbot is a system of new business methods that connects refrigeration companies to fridge owners creating great value for our valued and future customers
Apple of Android Based APP
With Frigbot there is no software to download, no backups and no configuration issues with your PC or Mac. Why? Because it’s all in the cloud.
We do all the backups and take care of all the other tricky stuff like security and updates. Super easy. Always on. It’s the new way to do business.
Frigbot collects the operational data from your equipment and presents it in an easy to read graph. This can not only tell you the current status of your equipment but the Frigbot report* can tell you what was happening yesterday, or last week, or however long you want to go back. It’s your very own crystal ball that provides compliance documentation and is an essential tool for fault finding and troubleshooting equipment malfunctions. The Frigbot reports can also be used as a tool to predict equipment faults (maybe before they happen).
With Frigbot you can log in and update your configuration anytime you like and from anywhere you have internet access. But the magic doesn’t stop there because Frigbot also has an incredible and unique backup feature that saves all your settings - so when you need to replace a faulty controller you can download and restore your last known working configuration . This is unique to Frigbot and a genuine labour saving efficiency.
When refrigeration equipment breaks it can be a disaster: spoilt food and loss of trade sales (plus the emotional and financial stress of the whole event) and the only person who can solve the problem is usually the very LAST person to get involved. That’s the old way of doing business!
The NEW way alerts MAXICHILL Refrigeration FIRST . This simple alert triggers faster response and quicker repairs that mean less down-time. When there’s a breakdown the focus is all about turning the situation around as fast as possible and keeping any disruptions to a minimum.
Technical Info –
Frigbot has the ability to measure electrical current in real time. This is a more advanced feature but essential if you need the operational status of refrigeration equipment. If you measure electrical current you can remotely determine if a compressor has a potential fault - this is a huge time saver for a busy refrigeration mechanic.
Diagnostic and activation information is presented automatically on the low-power ePaper display.
The Frigbot uses the cellular network to send refrigeration status and configuration information to our cloud servers. No need for any Wi-Fi connectivity, use your Frigbot’s anywhere that a mobile phone works!
MAXICHILL REFRIGERATION & AIR-CONDITIONING
Ph: 0419 102 754
ABN: 85 041 779 812
The Australian and New Zealand Institute of Insurance and Finance ( ANZIIF
) has announced the nominees for its annual awards.
The highly-anticipated tax cut for small businesses will provide much needed relief for mum-and-dad owners, with an Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman (ASBFEO) report highlighting the amount of tax paid by the small business sector overall has increased, while the contribution made by big business has fallen.
The ASBFEO’s Small Business Counts statistics report released today, includes ATO figures showing the small business share of company tax revenue has increased two per cent in recent years, while input from the big business sector has fallen three per cent.
“A healthy small-business sector is a prerequisite for a growing economy; there’s no doubt SMEs are doing their fair share when it comes to paying tax, not to mention creating job opportunities,” ASBFEO Kate Carnell said.
“The Federal Government’s foreshadowed company tax cuts for businesses with a turnover of up to $10 million will give 99 per cent of Australian businesses a tax reduction, and will provide a much needed shot in the arm for the sector’s growth prospects, enhancing the ability of small businesses to employ,” she said.
Compiled over the past 12 months, the ASBFEO statistics report brings together data and analysis from a range of sources including the ATO, ABS and Austrade, and has been released to mark the office’s one year anniversary.
“This report provides a unique insight into the sector; it ultimately reinforces the size and importance of the small businesses to the Australian economy, and outlines its growing diversity,” Carnell said.
Among the report’s findings, Carnell said the number of small businesses currently venturing into offshore markets is on the rise.
“Encouragingly, ABS data shows more and more small businesses are entering export markets, with 44 per cent of goods-exporting firms classified as small business,” Carnell said.
“Many are also entering the global market place at an early stage of their development, giving rise to the ‘born-global’ phenomenon,” she said.
Carnell said while many small businesses are at the cutting edge of innovation, she’d like to see more small businesses go down this path.
“Our report highlights ABS data showing small business accounts for 17 per cent of business expenditure on R&D; while this is encouraging, it’s a figure I think the sector can – and will – build upon, particularly as more small businesses realise the benefits of entering into strategic partnerships with larger companies, especially in industries like defence,” Carnell said.
Carnell said the purpose of the report is to be a resource for governments, public policy makers and researchers that will improve their knowledge and understanding of the Australian small-business sector.
“We’re inviting feedback on the report and welcome comment from small business and others on how we can ensure this document is the go-to publication for small-business stats in Australia,” Carnell said.
The full report can be found on the ASBFEO website: www.asbfeo.gov.au where a feedback form is also available.
The Privacy Amendment (Notifiable Data Breaches) Bill 2017 ( bill) amends the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) ( Privacy Act) and imposes an obligation on businesses to notify individuals and the Information Commissioner of data breaches. While the introduction of a mandatory data breach notification regime is significant, the threshold for notification is quite high.
When will it take effect?
The notification laws are expected to come into effect within the next 12 months. The bill was passed by both houses of parliament on 13 February 2017 and is currently awaiting Royal Assent.
Who is affected?
All entities that are currently subject to the Australian Privacy Principles ( APP entity) in the Privacy Act, which includes:
Also, if an APP entity has provided personal information to an overseas entity, these notification obligations may still apply as if the APP entity itself held the information.
What are the notification requirements?
An ‘eligible data breach’ is central to this legislation. An eligible data breach happens if:
‘Personal information’ means information or an opinion about an identified individual, or an individual who is reasonably identifiable, whether true or not. Common examples may include individuals’ dates of birth, addresses and credit card details.
‘Serious harm’ imposes a fairly high threshold, and is where a reasonable person would conclude that access to, or disclosure of, personal information would be likely to result in serious harm, taking into account a range of specified matters1 including:
The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner has previously considered ‘serious harm’ to include identify theft and financial fraud.2
There are three categories of obligation surrounding an eligible data breach.
Within 30 days of an APP entity suspecting that there may have been an eligible data breach it is obliged to carry out a reasonable and expeditious assessment of whether there in fact has been such a breach.
If an APP entity has reasonable grounds to believe that an eligible data breach has happened, it must notify:
An APP entity is also required to provide such notification if directed to do so by the Information Commissioner.
If an eligible data breach occurs, and the APP entity takes action before the breach results in serious harm to any of the affected individuals, then the breach is deemed to have not been an ‘eligible data breach’ and no notification steps are required.
The APP entity’s notification to the Information Commissioner and the affected individuals must be provided as soon as practicable after the APP entity becomes aware of the breach, and must contain:
What are the consequences of non-compliance?
If an entity or individual does not comply with the requirements of the legislation, they risk facing civil penalties of up to $1.8 million or $360,000 respectively or compensation orders to individuals who have suffered loss or damage as a result of the non-compliance.
What do I need to do?
If these amendments are likely to impact your organisation, we recommend action be taken now to prepare for the commencement of the bill. Such action may include implementing:
We also recommend a whole-of-business approach towards minimising cyber risks and the associated fall-out from a cyber event should be taken. As part of this, companies should consider how their present insurance coverage responds to cyber events and whether obtaining specialised cyber risk insurance coverage is necessary, particularly in light of the impending commencement of the bill.
Download Publication here
Austbrokers Coast to Coast can offer comprehensive solutions for all risks mentioned. Please contact us on 07 5586 9955