This is an HTML version of an attachment to the Freedom of Information request 'Social media policy'.

Guidance Note - Social Media Policy 
This guidance note provides various examples of behaviours/actions by staff of the Fair 
Work Commission which may be considered in breach of the Commission’s Social Media 

This guidance note does not purport to cover every possible situation of when Commission 
employees are potentially in breach of the policy due to their conduct in the use of social 
The social media policy states that personal and professional use of social media by 
Commission staff must not: 
Personal and 
professional use of 
social media by 
Commission staff 
must not: 

Bring the 
A Commission employee posts information on a social media site 
Commission into 
which is inaccurate, vexatious and/or damages the Commission’s 
reputation as the national workplace relations tribunal. 
Compromise their 
Don't forget your day job. You should make sure that your online 
or others 
activities do not interfere with performing your job responsibilities or 
effectiveness at 
the activities of the Commission and its employees. 
Use your best judgment.  Remember to always use good 
judgment and common sense in deciding what you publish. If you're 
about to publish something that makes you even the slightest bit 
uncomfortable, review the suggestions above and think about why 
that is. If you're still unsure, and it is related to Commission 
business, feel free to discuss it with your manager. Ultimately, 
however, you have sole responsibility for what you post to your blog 
or publish in any form of online social media.   
Remember - Commission employees are personally responsible for 
the content they publish on-line, whether in a blog, social computing 
site or any other form of user-generated media. Be mindful that what 
you publish will be public for a long time - protect your privacy and 
take care to not to compromise your effectiveness or the 
effectiveness of your colleagues at work through your posts – 
comments made in the heat of the moment will be out there for all to 
see for a long time and have the potential to harm your reputation 
as a trustworthy, respectful and ethical public servant.  
Suggest or imply 
Identification as a Commission employee implies authorisation to 
endorsement by 
speak as a representative of the Commission and gives the 
the Commission of  impression that the views expressed are those of the Commission. 
their personal 
A Commission employee comments or posts material in relation to 

their views regarding a decision brought down by a Member of the 
Commission.   The comments are worded in ways that have the 
potential to cause damage to the Commission’s reputation or bring it 
into disrepute. 
Post material that 
A Commission employee makes belittling or humiliating comments 
is offensive, 
regarding an unnamed work colleague on their Facebook account.  

A Commission employee circulates a sexually explicit joke to other 
team members using Lync software. 
discriminatory or 
otherwise unlawful 

Use the Fair Work 
A Commission employee writes a letter ‘to the Editor’ of a 
metropolitan newspaper in which they express their views regarding 
email address or 
a local council decision using paper which has the Fair Work 
logo without 
Commission’s logo on it. 
A Commission employee uses or discloses confidential information 
to their Facebook friends which they obtained via a search of 
matters in CMS+ in relation to the financial outcome of an unfair 
dismissal application. 
A Commission employee uses social media to discuss their views in 
relation to sanctions imposed on a colleague following an 
investigation into an alleged breach of the APS Code of Conduct. 
Contravene the 
As APS and Fair Work Commission employees we assume that role 
APS Code of 
24/7 and therefore posting material that is offensive, obscene, 
Conduct, APS or 
defamatory, threatening, harassing, bullying, discriminatory, hateful, 
Fair Work 
racist, sexist, infringes copyright, constitutes a contempt of court, 
breaches a Court suppression order, or is otherwise unlawful could 
be found to be in contravention of the APS Code of Conduct, the 
APS or Fair Work Commission values.  Generally, a higher standard 
of conduct is expected of public servants. 
A Commission employee posts threatening comments on Facebook   
directed toward another employee of the Commission.  The 
employee against whom the threatening comments have been 
made provides a copy of the comments to their Manager claiming 
their work colleague has breached the APS Code of Conduct, 
amongst other things.    
A Commission employee sends disparaging remarks regarding their 
Manager to other team members via Lync software.   
A Commission employee uses or discloses confidential information 
to their Facebook friends which they obtained via a search of 
matters in CMS+ regarding an unfair dismissal application 
Staff must ensure 
Disclaimers should be attached to every comment or view 
that all personal 
expressed on social media in which an employee acknowledges 
comments or 
their employment with or makes comments in regard to the Fair 
views expressed 
Work Commission.    
on social media 
sites are easily 

- If an employee of the Commission publishes content on a social 
identifiable as their  media site, in their personal capacity, which is relevant to the 
own and not those 
business of the Commission a disclaimer such as this should be 
added to every post: "The postings on this site are my own and don't 
Workforce Team - Guidance Note - Social Media Policy 
February 2014 

of the Commission  necessarily represent the Fair Work Commission's position, 
strategies or opinions." 
Staff is 
Facebook accounts, including access and passwords etc are the 
responsible for the  responsibility of the owner of the account.  However, the onus of 
content they post, 
proving the comments were made by the employee and not 
or allow others to 
someone else would be tested in any investigation of a possible 
post, on their 
breach of the Social Media Policy. 
personal social 

Further information: 
The Australian Public Service Commissioner (APSC) has provided further guidance 
in regard to APS Values and Code of Conduct in practice and sets out general 
principles when making public comment in an unofficial capacity.
The Code of Conduct requires APS employees to behave at all times ‘in a way that upholds 
the APS Values and the integrity and good reputation of the APS’—section 13(11) of the 
Public Service Act 1999 (the PS Act). When APS employees are making public comment in 
an unofficial capacity, it is not appropriate for them to make comment that is, or could be 
perceived to be: 
  being made on behalf of their agency or the Government, rather than an expression of 
a personal view 
  compromising the APS employee’s capacity to fulfil their duties in an unbiased manner. 
This applies particularly where comment is made about policies and programmes of the 
employee’s agency 
  so harsh or extreme in its criticism of the Government, a member of parliament from 
another political party, or their respective policies, that it raises questions about the 
APS employee’s capacity to work professionally, efficiently or impartially. Such 
comment does not have to relate to the employee’s area of work 
  so strong in its criticism of an agency’s administration that it could seriously disrupt the 
workplace. APS employees are encouraged instead to resolve concerns by informal 
discussion with a manager or by using internal dispute resolution mechanisms, 
including the APS whistleblowing scheme if appropriate 
  a gratuitous personal attack that might reasonably be perceived to be connected with 
their employment 
  unreasonable criticism of an agency’s clients and other stakeholders 
  compromising public confidence in the agency or the APS. 
Workforce Team - Guidance Note - Social Media Policy 
February 2014