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Multi-Million Cost of Social Networking

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Facebook abuse by workers is costing UK companies £132 million a day, according to an employment law firm.

According to Peninsula, 233 million hours are lost a month due to workers wasting employers time on social networking sites such as Facebook. They estimate the problem will cost employers £30.8 billion per year and is to escalate.

“Why should employers allow their workers to waste two hours a day on Facebook when they are being paid to do a job?” said Mike Huss, Employment Law Director at Peninsula.

The figures come from a poll of 3469 companies from a variety of industries across the UK.

“The figures that we have calculated are minimums and it’s a problem that I foresee will escalate,” Huss said. Some companies are happy to let their workers use the internet for personal use, assuming that goals and targets are achieved. However loss of productivity through social networks such as Facebook is proving to be a major headache and my advice would be for companies to block access.”

Huss recommends employers have clear policies in place that spell out to workers what they can and cannot use the internet for.

He added: “There will always be questions asking whether Facebook is a motivational tool or not, many companies are blocking sites such as Facebook whilst many will embrace it as a tool which they can use for business. However other potential problems exist such as an employer’s liability for comments posted by workers directed at other colleagues. This may even spell out discriminative tribunal claims if comments are taken to heart."

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