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Q. Can You Snoop On Prospective Employees via Social Media?



A. Whilst there is no law on checking on the social media profile of a potential employee, it is not without its risks to you as an employer.

It may be that what the business discovers about a candidate which could lead to claims of discrimination. For example, a potential employer could find out about an employee’s disability, age, sexual orientation etc., and this may make it difficult to defend a claim should they be rejected for an interview. Social media checks could be used after a conditional offer of employment is made and the information gathered should then be subject to verification before it is used cautiously. Again, the risk of allegations of discrimination could be levelled.

With individuals due to have enhanced rights under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), businesses will need to comply with an individual’s request to delete their personal data in certain circumstances, the so-called “right to be forgotten.” This can be used by individuals so that youthful indiscretions recorded on social do not have a negative impact on their future career.

With this in mind, you should think carefully about what you are looking to gain from any social media searches and limit any enquiries to that purpose.

For further advice, please contact Julia Fitzsimmons on 01952 208420 or Alternatively, find out more about our Employment & HR Services.

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