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In slightly disturbing news, a Federal court Judge has paved the way for an Australian Public Servant who criticised the Government on Twitter to be sacked, even though she did not reveal her name or her job to her followers.

Michaela Banerji frequently criticised the Government’s immigration policy, senior politicians, and colleagues, a clear breach of her obligations as a public servant. (Neutrality, anyone?)

Federal Court Judge Warwick Neville determined yesterday Australians had no “unfettered implied right of political expression” and it did not provide a licence to breach employment contracts.

The Public Service Commission in the past has advised staff to uphold the service’s values and code of conduct ”even when material is posted anonymously, or using an ‘alias’ or pseudonym, and should bear in mind that even if they do not identify themselves online as an APS employee or an employee of their agency, they could … be recognised as such”.

Here in lies the rub for employees (including those in the private sector), if your employer has a social media policy your employment can be terminated if you tweet/post/update anonymously in your own time. Big brother is watching.

 

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