How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask JGM Your Own Question

JGM
JGM, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10650
Experience:  30 years as a practising solicitor.
31090051
Type Your Law Question Here...
JGM is online now

Can an employer legally prevent employees from discussing work

Resolved Question:

Can an employer legally prevent employees from discussing work related terms and conditions, in particular rest breaks, amongst each other on Social Media in England? A group of us discussed 'rest breaks' in a private group on Facebook in that we felt that the arrangement may not meet the European Working Time Directive on rest break entitlements. Our employers were 'leaked' a copy of the discussion (public service employer) and we all (ten of us) have fact finding interviews possibly leading to disciplinary action. Can they legally prevent us from discussing such an issue, particularly in light of Articles 10 and 11 of the European Human Rights Act? All of the things discussed have been brought up publically on the internet and in the press by Trade Unions recently already. I have looked for tribunal cases but all seem to relate to offensive or defamatory comments rather than this sort of discussion.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  JGM replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your question.
Have any of you done anything which breaches your contracts of employment? If not, they can't stop you discussing it. An employee is always entitled to discuss whether his or her employer is complying with the law. Unless you are contractually prevented from discussing your contract with fellow employees, the employer should not be fact finding and threatening disciplinary procedures.
I hope this helps.
Please leave a positive response so that I am credited for my time.
JGM, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10650
Experience: 30 years as a practising solicitor.
JGM and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

One or two of those in the message thread did use some offensive language towards the employer. I have no doubt that they will have some sort of disciplinary action taken against them as that is clearly a breach of contract.

My comments and most others in the thread were simply in relation to the working time directive and how we perceived that our rest break entitlements did not meet those laid down in the EWT. They were polite, non-threatening, not offensive and gave away no confidential information yet we all (not just those who used offensive language) have these fact finding meetings.

Your answer has definitely helped me relax. I may get a better nights sleep tonight but there is still this niggling feeling of concern.... but I guess that is what the employer wants.

Would they be able to take any action against us for just being in the general conversation, despite not breaking their rules in terms of being professional, not using offensive language etc? After all we cannot control what other people write on social networking sites.

Expert:  JGM replied 2 years ago.
Thanks for your response. I don't think that you've done anything wrong but you would be better to distance yourself from those who are being abusive. You don't want to prejudice your position by way of association with those who are less subtle in their approach.
Whether it's online or holding placards in a public place, you have to be careful about any group protests, meetings or discussions concerning your employer.

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • Thank you so much for your help. Your answers were really useful and came back so quickly. Great! Maggie
< Previous | Next >
  • Thank you so much for your help. Your answers were really useful and came back so quickly. Great! Maggie
  • A quick response, a succinct and helpful answer in simple English. I believe I can now confront the counter party with confidence -- worth the 30 bucks! Rick
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C.
  • This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!! Alex
  • Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult. GP
  • I couldn't be more satisfied! This is the site I will always come to when I need a second opinion. Justin
  • Just let me say that this encounter has been entirely professional and most helpful. I liked that I could ask additional questions and get answered in a very short turn around. Esther
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Jo C.

    Jo C.

    Barrister

    Satisfied Customers:

    30316
    Over 5 years in practice
< Previous | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/EM/emus/2015-7-7_192327_bigstockportraitofconfidentfemale.64x64.jpg Jo C.'s Avatar

    Jo C.

    Barrister

    Satisfied Customers:

    30316
    Over 5 years in practice
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/BE/benjones/2015-12-1_0437_ennew.64x64.jpg Ben Jones's Avatar

    Ben Jones

    UK Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    11553
    Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/BU/Buachaill/2012-5-25_211156_barrister5.64x64.jpg Buachaill's Avatar

    Buachaill

    Barrister

    Satisfied Customers:

    1754
    Barrister 17 years experience
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/JO/jojobi/2013-3-19_0265_maxlowryphoto.64x64.jpg Max Lowry's Avatar

    Max Lowry

    Advocate

    Satisfied Customers:

    894
    LLB, 10 years post qualification experience
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/UK/UKLawyer/2012-4-12_9849_F2.64x64.jpg UK_Lawyer's Avatar

    UK_Lawyer

    Solicitor

    Satisfied Customers:

    750
    I am a qualified solicitor and an expert in UK law.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/KA/Kasare/kasare.64x64.jpg Kasare's Avatar

    Kasare

    Solicitor

    Satisfied Customers:

    402
    Solicitor, 10 yrs plus experience in civil litigation, employment and family law
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/OS/osh/2015-7-7_19268_gettyimagesb.64x64.jpg Joshua's Avatar

    Joshua

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    8199
    LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice