Can my boss discipline me for using social media sites during work time?

Yes, quite possibly. When you’re at work, you’re supposed to be working, so online social networking on your employer's time could be grounds for initiating a disciplinary process.

Your employer should have a policy on personal use of IT equipment, and should have made it clear to you what you are allowed to do, and what you can expect to be sanctioned for doing.

The more severe the sanction, the greater the onus on the employer to make sure the rules are clear and are brought to employees' attention. This is particularly relevant where an employer tries to regulate online activities that take place in your own home outside working hours, such as blogging, tweeting or posting to Facebook.

Your employer should also have a clear disciplinary procedure that must be followed properly, including your right to be accompanied into a formal meeting by a union representative or a co-worker.

Note: This content is provided as general background information and should not be taken as legal advice or financial advice for your particular situation. Make sure to get individual advice on your case from your union, a source on our free help page or an independent financial advisor before taking any action.