Social Media – Disciplinary Proceedings Avoided
A junior doctor approached MDS for advice following a letter received from his employer setting out allegations that he had been making defamatory and derogatory comments about the employer within an employee Whatsapp group and inviting him to a disciplinary meeting. Initially, we arranged a conference with the Doctor to discuss the statements that had been made and to obtain his views. The Doctor advised that he believed the statements to be accurate and sought our assistance to leave their employ.
MDS ADVICE & OUTCOME
MDS negotiated a settlement agreement with the employer for the Doctor’s agreed exit including an agreement for them to not proceed any further with the disciplinary investigation in exchange for a mutually agreed exit date.
The junior doctor was able to leave his employment without having to proceed through the disciplinary process, and was able to find a job elsewhere. This meant no formal findings would be made against him.
Comments made in a Whatsapp group or on other forms of social media can be grounds for disciplinary action, if they are seen to be derogatory or defamatory. The GMC have published guidance on the use of social media which sets out the benefits and risks to consider when using social media platforms.
If you would like advice on leaving your employment further to a disciplinary process being opened against you, please contact our legal team for immediate advice on how best to proceed.