He tikanga whakamahi mō te whakamahi pāpaho pāpori mō ngā take whaiaro | Guidance for State servants’ personal use of social media

Purpose | Kaupapa

This guidance is to support State servants to use social media in a personal capacity appropriately and in line with their responsibilities.

This guidance does not apply to State servants’ use of social media an official capacity. For that guidance read Guidance for the State services official use of social media.

Ngā tikanga hei whai mā ngā kaimahi whakahaere kāwanatanga mō te whakamahi pāpāho pāpori mō ngā take whaiaro | Expectations around how State servants will use social media in a personal capacity

State servants are free to use social media in their private lives, in the same way as other citizens. The Standards of Integrity and Conduct, political neutrality obligations and your agency policies apply to all media communications outside work as with other forms of communication. There must be a clear separation between State servants’ work role and their personal use of media.

While some aspects of social media may be outside a user's control, State servants are expected to take reasonable care that their social media communications do not undermine the political neutrality of the State services. Maintaining political neutrality in a work role means separating personal political comments in any media, including on social media, from work life. For example, State servants must not link their personal political comments to their LinkedIn work profile.

As with other types of behaviour, private social media use will only be a concern to an employer if it harms the employment relationship in some way. Trust and confidence will be affected by social media use that involves unlawful conduct, a breach of the code of conduct or that otherwise brings the employer into disrepute.

Te whakamahi pāpāho pāpori mō ngā take whaiaro | Using social media in a personal capacity

Private comments can become public on social media, so it always pays to think before posting material online and to exercise good judgement when sending a post.

It is never a good idea to air workplace grievances online or be disrespectful of others when using social media. If someone is unsure about what is acceptable they may want to talk to their manager or an HR advisor at their workplace.

For State servants who operate their own websites, managing social media risks may involve, for example, moderating content on a site, or not responding to posts.

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