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Social media policy

Policy Definition

For the purposes of this policy, social media is defined as online media that allows parties to communicate instantly with each other or to share data in a public forum. This policy explains our approach to social media communications. It applies to all employees, in all our operating countries.


To avoid risk, people must use common sense when communicating on social media sites, paying special attention to confidentiality and company loyalty. For the purposes of this policy, social media means any facility for online publication and commentary, including, without limitation, blogs, wikis, or any social networking sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Flickr, and YouTube. In particular, employees must not:

  • Engage in any activity or disclose information that brings or is likely to bring PHS into disrepute;
  • Use the internet to attack or abuse colleagues, our clients, suppliers or partners or post any derogatory comments;
  • Blog or post messages anonymously, using pseudonyms or false screen names – always use your real name, be clear who you are and identify that you work for PHS;
  • Say anything that is dishonest, untrue or misleading.
  • Post or publish any sensitive or confidential information;
  • Set up a group, page, blog, website or network that mentions PHS without the prior approval of the Digital Content Manager; or
  • Let your use of social networking sites interfere with your job or commitments to clients.

Please note that all work-related contacts, networks and business established while working for PHS Group remain the property of PHS even if your employment ends.

Responsibilities of all employees.

1. Employees must be aware at all times that, while contributing to the company’s social media activities, they are representing the company. All communication should have a purpose and benefit to PHS.

2. Employees should be aware of their association with PHS when using online social networks and if they identify themselves as working for PHS, their profile and content must be consistent with how they would present themselves to colleagues and customers.

3. If an employee publishes content online relevant to PHS, it is best to use a disclaimer in their profile such as: “The postings on this site are my own and don’t necessarily represent PHS’ positions, strategies or opinions”.

4. PHS logos or trademarks should only be used with the permission from the Corporate Communications Team.

5. Any communication that an employee makes in a professional capacity through social media must not:

  • Bring the organisation into disrepute, for example by:
  1. Criticising or arguing with customers, colleagues or rivals;
  2. Making defamatory comments about individuals, organisations or groups; or
  3. Posting images that are inappropriate or links to inappropriate content.
  • Breach confidentiality, for example by:
  1. Revealing trade secrets or information owned by the company;
  2. Giving away confidential information about an individual (such as a colleague or customer contact) or organisation (such as a rival business); or
  3. Discussing the information deemed commercial in confidence.
  • Breach copyright, for example by:
  1. Using someone else's images or written content without permission; or
  2. Failing to give acknowledgement where permission has been given to reproduce something.
  • Do anything that could be considered discriminatory against, or bullying or harassment of, any individual.

Disciplinary action over social media use

All employees are required to adhere to this policy and access to particular social media websites may be withdrawn in any case of misuse.

Employees should note that any breaches of this policy may lead to disciplinary action and serious breaches of this policy, for example, incidents of bullying of colleagues or social media activity causing serious damage to the organisation, may constitute gross misconduct.

Dated 11 November 2014

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