Council suspended employees for social media misuse

Seven council employees were suspended last year
Seven council employees were suspended last year
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Seven council employees were suspended in one year for misusing social media, new figures have revealed.

St Helens Council suspended the highest number of its employees between April 2014 and March 2015 than any other authority according to a Freedom of Information request made by BBC Radio 5 live.

A spokesman for the council confirmed that seven employees had been suspended over the year and that several had been in relation to the same incident.

The spokesman said: “We will not tolerate any form of social media misuse – and this is an issue taken very seriously by the council.

“We can confirm that seven employees were suspended during 2014-15, with several of these cases relating to the same incident.

“Only one of the cases involved the use of council equipment and none involved pornography.”

The figures revealed that more than 51 workers were suspended from the 169 authorities that responded to the FOI request but only a minority were later dismissed or resigned.

The data also reveals 11 people were suspended for viewing online porn.

But the BBC said that figures are not exact because some councils did not specify how many of their employees had been suspended and not all included school staff in their replies.

In addition, some councils based their numbers on the calendar year while others used the April to March financial year.

According the BBC, St Helens Council suspended the largest number of workers, some for offences involving Facebook but did not provide further details.

East Riding of Yorkshire Council said it suspended two teachers for befriending pupils on Facebook while Leeds Council took action against two employees over racial comments they had made online.