Councillors Approve New HR Policy

The Town Hall

Councillors have approved the policy on what staff may and may not write on Facebook or social networking websites.

Council workers may go online but only before and after work or during lunchtime.

Employees should make it clear that they are not speaking on behalf of the Council and no information about the Council or its meetings may be posted by staff.

The guidance is part of the Council’s HR policy, the procedural guide on disciplinary matters, grievances and equal opportunities that was also passed.

This included an equality policy that had been returned for amendments in the summer.

It aims to prevent discrimination because of age, disability, sex, gender, pregnancy, race, sexual orientation, religious belief or gender reassignment.

Richard McCarthy approved of the sentiment behind it but said he couldn’t back a policy that would have made “lawyers mouths start watering” at concepts like preventing third-party harassment.

He said the concepts are unintelligible. And he warned that “it gave a license to people who live their lives feeling bruised.”

Richard felt that our small authority should be an exemplar for common sense as everybody knows each other.

Debbie Rigby, Head of Human Resources said all of those types of discrimination needed to be outlined in policy because it was the law and they couldn’t take elements out to suit Scilly.

Amanda Martin said it would be nice to have some of those policies relating to the treatment of Councillors.