On the left hand side of this page you will see a list of links. The first link is to a collection of information law resources on 11KBW’s main website. There are conference papers and other materials written by members of chambers; in particular there is an 80 page practical guide to the Environmental Information Regulations, written by Anya Proops. In discussions of FOI, we find that the EIR tend to be unduly neglected; Anya’s guide is a contribution to redressing the balance.
You will also find links to online resources maintained by a wide range of organisations and individuals: Government departments, regulators (both in the UK and overseas), academic institutions, legal practitioners, campaigners and bloggers. If you think that there is anything that we should add, please email me on Timothy.Pitt-Payne@11kbw.com . Needless to say, we don’t take responsibility for the information or opinions posted on any of these external sites.
Many thanks to all those who have provided feedback and encouragement following our launch last week. Particular thanks to Delia Venables for the speed with which she added us to her comprehensive listing of online legal resources in the UK and Ireland.
I’m a great admirer of Pinsent Mason’s “Out-Law” website. It’s a fascinating source of information law material.
Today, there’s an opinion piece about the use of social networking sites by employees. It argues that in some circumstances employers are entitled to control the use that employees make of sites such as Facebook, even outside working hours. There is a risk of reputational damage: for instance, a newspaper that aims for politically impartial journalism could be damaged if its writers reveal their own personal political views online.
Personal use of the internet during working time is a legitimate concern to employers – just as they may rightly be concerned about the use of the phone system for long private calls. But what about curtailing employees’ freedom of expression and social interaction in their own time? It is suggested that any employer who went down this route would need both a very strong justification, and a tightly-drawn policy that was clearly communicated to their employees.
In considering any specific case, careful consideration would need to be given by employers to how widely any objectionable material posted by an employee could be viewed – was it visible to a small group of friends, for instance, or to a network of millions of people?
There’s a much broader issue here. Social networking is very widespread indeed among today’s student generation. When they begin their working lives, will they find that their online activity impedes their search for a job? Or that it comes back to haunt them later in their working lives?
The reference for the opinion piece discussed above is at:
For discussion of the issues that arise when an employer considers that an employee’s online activities are damaging to its reputation, see Pay v Lancashire Probation Service, available online at: