Worker sacked after allegedly leaving offensive messages on social media - Palmers Solicitors

Worker sacked after allegedly leaving offensive messages on social media

Worker sacked after allegedly leaving offensive messages on social media

An employee who assessed government benefit payments for disabled people has been dismissed after allegedly posting offensive comments about claimants on social media.

Capita, the outsourcing firm which carries out assessments on behalf of the Government, confirmed that the nurse at the centre of the row had been dismissed.

The derogatory remarks had apparently been posted on the employee’s Facebook page and were discovered by Sarah Goldstein, whose application for Personal Independence Payments (PIPs) had been refused.

Concerned that a number of “falsehoods” had been included in the report on her case, the 24-year-old sought out the nurse’s social media accounts and was horrified to discover the posts.

One message, dating from 2014, appeared to criticise an individual who had lost two legs as a child and featured in a programme about the welfare system.

The nurse suggested the man should “get a job fitting carpets” and described him as “a scrounger.”

Ms Goldstein, who suffers from a series of health problems, welcomed the decision to dismiss the member of staff.

“I didn’t go out looking for dirt, but I was shocked and horrified nonetheless,” she said. “We want people to understand the struggle people go through with this new benefits system – people need to see that people like this is what we’re up against.

“Disabled people are human beings and we deserve a good quality of life – we don’t deserve to be treated like this.”

Lara Murray, an employment law specialist with Palmers said: “This incident serves as an important reminder for employers to ensure that they have a robust and comprehensive social media policy in place and that this is communicated to all employees so that they are aware of what might constitute a breach and the likely sanctions for doing so.”

For advice on all aspects of employment law including help with putting in place a social media policy for your organisation, please contact us.