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Staff social media policy

Social networking sites and use of mobile telephones and other mobile devices

Gonville & Caius College recognises that digital and social media can play an important role in communicating its purpose and activities to the public, including prospective students and supporters. Its Communications Office uses a number of social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, to share information and ideas to the benefit of the College and its wider community. The College intranet, The Venn, includes links to these platforms, and staff are encouraged to develop an awareness of the public face of the College. They are also welcome to submit photographs or information to the Communications Office for sharing on College sites or social media pages, such as the 2016 “Caius 366” project on Facebook and Instagram. Staff managing social media platforms on behalf of the College are reminded of the need to respect the privacy of individuals. They should ensure they comply with the College’s Data Protection statements. In particular, they should not post details about any individuals, including photographs of individuals or small groups, without seeking permission from the subjects.

The benefits of social media must be balanced with the need to ensure time is not wasted on social media which should be spent on official duties. Staff should limit time spent on social networking sites/blogs/apps (including, but not limited to, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) during working hours, by computer, tablet or mobile telephone to reasonable use: the needs of the College must come first during working hours, and managers may exercise their own judgement, including removing access if they believe that use of computers for reasons other than work is interfering with official duties.

If you use such sites outside working hours you must ensure that any statements made are not in breach of any College policy and do not bring the College name into disrepute. Defamatory, derogatory or harassing statements or comments posted on such platforms either about the College or employees of the College or comments which identify individual employees may be treated as gross misconduct in line with the College disciplinary procedures. This also applies to any matters of a confidential nature which should not be discussed through such forums. If you are in any doubt as to whether something falls into the confidential category you should speak to your line manager.

If you leave the College’s employment you should remove any reference on any platform which indicates you are still an employee of the College.

The College will tolerate the use of staff's own mobile devices for limited personal use during working hours. However, this use must be responsible and reasonable. Managers may treat over-use, such as making lengthy calls, casual chats, text messaging, emailing, and web browsing, as a disciplinary offence if it interferes in your ability to carry out your duties. Staff should also show consideration for others in the use of mobile telephones, such as turning them off or setting them to “silent” in meetings. The College recognises that some staff now use their own mobile devices in the course of their duties; this is of course acceptable provided that you observe caution in ensuring confidentiality, including protecting your device with a password.  If you have been issued with a College mobile telephone, you must also follow current College policy on its use.

Failure to adhere to the above policy will be treated as misconduct and may result in disciplinary action in accordance with College disciplinary procedures.

Note: staff emails are managed through the University’s “Hermes” system. You should study the rules and etiquette set out here and the privacy statement here.