Can afterhours WhatsApp messages get you fired?

16 September 2022

WhatsApp is a convenient way to communicate during and after business hours equally. It works at the touch of a button which opens possibility to say something controversial after hours. Exactly how careful do we need to be?

According to legal firm Wright Rose-Innes, it is possible to be fired for WhatsApp posts if certain factors are considered and if a fair reason for an employee’s dismissal is established.

In establishing whether there are fair reasons for dismissing an employee for misconduct, the following can be considered:

  • Did the employee contravene a rule or standard regulating conduct in the workplace?
  • If the rule or standard was contravened, was the rule a valid or reasonable rule or standard?
  • Was the employee aware, or should reasonably be expected to have been aware of the rule or standard?
  • Was the rule consistently applied by the employer?
  • Is dismissal an appropriate sanction for a contravention of the rule or standard?

Read more including a real-life example on how these reasons may be applied here.

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