The ownership of an employee’s LinkedIn account has recently been the subject of a decision in the Courts. The Court held that in these particular circumstances the LinkedIn account and therefore the business contacts generated belong to the employer.
It has now become very clear that this is a further important area to be addressed by employers in drafting out employee contracts.
Social media restrictions in employment contracts
Firstly the employer should make clear that any business social media account can only be set up with the authority of the employer and at the cost of the employer. This is to ensure the employer retains control and ownership of that site and the LinkedIn account. Contracts should also make clear that those contacts are part of the business and confidential information of the employer and belong to the employer.
Restrictive covenants in employment contracts
Secondly restrictive covenants (restrictions on an employee’s activities once they leave employment) should also now specifically refer to the use of LinkedIn accounts being regarded as a breach of restrictive covenants where they are used to communicate the termination of employment or change of status or otherwise to contact or to communicate with those contacts for any business purpose., in connection with the employees departure.
Advice about contracts of employment
For help with creating or checking a contract of employment, to ensure that what you need from your employees is stated in a way that is clear and legally correct, speak to an expert in employment and business law today.
Bray & Bray have three main offices across Leicestershire. Feel free to phone or pop in to talk to our solicitors.