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Arbetstagarens yttrandefrihet i sociala medier och lojalitetsplikten

Bååth, Olivia LU (2013) JURM01 20131
Department of Law
Abstract (Swedish)
Alla svenska medborgare är garanterade yttrandefrihet gentemot det allmänna. Detta skydd återfinns i såväl svenska grundlagar som i de internationella konventioner som Sverige har antagit. Arbetstagare som har det offentliga som arbetsgivare åtnjuter en högre grad av skydd än de arbetstagare som är verksamma i den privata sektorn. Detta beror på att YGL samt TF är direkt tillämpliga gentemot dessa. Dessa två regelverk är emellertid inte tillämpliga på alla sociala medier, men trots detta gäller både RF och Europakonventionen, som är de huvudsakliga rättskällorna på området. Dessa är under vissa förhållanden tillämpliga även i relationen mellan privata arbetsgivare och arbetstagare. Privata arbetsgivare har också en möjlighet att sluta... (More)
Alla svenska medborgare är garanterade yttrandefrihet gentemot det allmänna. Detta skydd återfinns i såväl svenska grundlagar som i de internationella konventioner som Sverige har antagit. Arbetstagare som har det offentliga som arbetsgivare åtnjuter en högre grad av skydd än de arbetstagare som är verksamma i den privata sektorn. Detta beror på att YGL samt TF är direkt tillämpliga gentemot dessa. Dessa två regelverk är emellertid inte tillämpliga på alla sociala medier, men trots detta gäller både RF och Europakonventionen, som är de huvudsakliga rättskällorna på området. Dessa är under vissa förhållanden tillämpliga även i relationen mellan privata arbetsgivare och arbetstagare. Privata arbetsgivare har också en möjlighet att sluta bindande avtal med arbetstagarna om tystnadsplikt, en möjlighet som de offentliga arbetsgivarna saknar. Yttrandefriheten begränsas genom vissa lagar, bland annat OSL och FHL.

Förknippad med yttrandefriheten finns kritikrätten som ger anställda en relativt vidsträckt rätt att rikta kritik mot arbetsgivaren. Vissa krav måste dock vara uppfyllda för att arbetstagarens förfarande inte ska anses illojalt vid en eventuell prövning. Faktorer av vikt är bland annat den anställdes befattning, uppdrag, bakgrunden till kritiken, vilken spridning den får, om det finns en godtagbar ursäkt samt huruvida den anställde först sökt diskutera kritiken med arbetsgivaren.

Yttrandefriheten och kritikrätten står dock emot den lojalitetsplikt som alla anställda, explicit eller underförstått, är bundna av. Även här kan skönjas vissa skillnader mellan de arbetstagare som är verksamma i privat respektive offentlig sektor. Kravet på lojalitet är högre för privatanställda beroende på att privata arbetsgivare har en högre grad av frihet att bestämma om graden av insyn i verksamheten. Lojalitetsplikten kan sägas innebära att arbetstagaren inte får handla så att arbetsgivaren skadas samt se till att inte hamna i en sådan situation i vilken konflikter mellan arbetstagarens olika plikter kan uppkomma.

Detta arbete utreder var gränserna mellan arbetstagarens yttrandefrihet samt kritikrätt och lojalitetsplikten går vid användningen av sociala medier eller annorlunda uttryckt: När blir en arbetstagares yttrande i sociala medier illojalt gentemot arbetsgivaren? De olika arbetsrättsliga problem som kan uppkomma beror bland annat på den spridning som uppgifterna kan få i sociala medier, att mottagarna är okända samt den ökade tillgängligheten till sociala medier genom bland annat den ökande användningen av smart phones. Uppsatsen ger ett antal förslag på lösningar. I denna del erinras om vikten av en tydlig IT-policy som reglerar användandet av sociala medier, både när arbetstagaren agerar på uppdrag av arbetsgivaren i dennes namn samt privat. Utbildning av anställda och chefer är ett annat sätt att effektivt undvika konfliktsituationer. (Less)
Abstract
All Swedish citizens are guaranteed freedom of speech against the State. This protection can be found in both the Swedish constitution and in international conventions which Sweden has adopted. Workers who are employed in the public sector enjoy a higher degree of protection than the workers employed in the private sector. This is because the Fundamental Law on Freedom of Expression and the Act on Freedom of the Press is directly applicable on this relationship. These two regulations are however not applicable to all social media, but both the Fundamental Law on Freedom of Expression and the European Convention on Human Rights, which are the two main sources of regulation in this area, protect these rights. These are, in certain... (More)
All Swedish citizens are guaranteed freedom of speech against the State. This protection can be found in both the Swedish constitution and in international conventions which Sweden has adopted. Workers who are employed in the public sector enjoy a higher degree of protection than the workers employed in the private sector. This is because the Fundamental Law on Freedom of Expression and the Act on Freedom of the Press is directly applicable on this relationship. These two regulations are however not applicable to all social media, but both the Fundamental Law on Freedom of Expression and the European Convention on Human Rights, which are the two main sources of regulation in this area, protect these rights. These are, in certain circumstances applicable also in the relationship between private employers and employees. Private employers also have an opportunity to negotiate agreements with workers on confidentiality, a possibility that public employers lack. Freedom of speech is limited by certain laws, including Public Access to Information and Secrecy Act and Act on the Protection of Trade Secrets.

Associated with freedom of expression is the right to criticize that gives employees a relatively extensive right to criticize the employer. Certain requirements must be met so that the workers conduct is not considered disloyal in the event of a trial. Factors of importance include the employees role and mission, the background of the criticism, the spread of the criticism, if there is an acceptable excuse and whether the employee has first sought to discuss the issues with the employer.

Freedom of expression and the right to criticize, however, stand against the duty of loyalty that all employees, expressly or implied, are bound by. Some differences kan be discerned between the workers employed in the private and public sectors. The requirement of loyalty is higher for private employees because private employers have a greater degree of freedom in determining the level of transparency in his or hers business operations. The duty of loyalty can be said to mean that the employee may not act so that injury is afflicted upon the employer and make sure not to end up in a situation in which the conflict between the employee's different duties may arise.

This work investigates the boundaries between the employee's right to freedom of expression and criticism and the duty of loyalty in the use of social media, or in other words: When can an employee's expressions in social media be construed as disloyal behaviour against the employer? The various issues that may arise in employment relationships regarding social media include the spread of information, that the recipients are unknown combined with the increased availability of social media due to the increasing use of smartphones. The paper gives a number of suggestions for solutions. In this part, the importance of a clear IT policy governing the use of social media is recalled, both when the employee acts on behalf of the employer in his name as well as in a private capacity. Education of employees and managers is another way to effectively avoid conflict. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Bååth, Olivia LU
supervisor
organization
alternative title
The employee's freedom of speech in social media and the duty of loyalty
course
JURM01 20131
year
type
H3 - Professional qualifications (4 Years - )
subject
keywords
arbetsrätt, kritikrätt, yttrandefrihet
language
Swedish
id
3960638
date added to LUP
2013-09-23 08:27:55
date last changed
2013-09-23 08:27:55
@misc{3960638,
  abstract     = {All Swedish citizens are guaranteed freedom of speech against the State. This protection can be found in both the Swedish constitution and in international conventions which Sweden has adopted. Workers who are employed in the public sector enjoy a higher degree of protection than the workers employed in the private sector. This is because the Fundamental Law on Freedom of Expression and the Act on Freedom of the Press is directly applicable on this relationship. These two regulations are however not applicable to all social media, but both the Fundamental Law on Freedom of Expression and the European Convention on Human Rights, which are the two main sources of regulation in this area, protect these rights. These are, in certain circumstances applicable also in the relationship between private employers and employees. Private employers also have an opportunity to negotiate agreements with workers on confidentiality, a possibility that public employers lack. Freedom of speech is limited by certain laws, including Public Access to Information and Secrecy Act and Act on the Protection of Trade Secrets.

Associated with freedom of expression is the right to criticize that gives employees a relatively extensive right to criticize the employer. Certain requirements must be met so that the workers conduct is not considered disloyal in the event of a trial. Factors of importance include the employees role and mission, the background of the criticism, the spread of the criticism, if there is an acceptable excuse and whether the employee has first sought to discuss the issues with the employer.

Freedom of expression and the right to criticize, however, stand against the duty of loyalty that all employees, expressly or implied, are bound by. Some differences kan be discerned between the workers employed in the private and public sectors. The requirement of loyalty is higher for private employees because private employers have a greater degree of freedom in determining the level of transparency in his or hers business operations. The duty of loyalty can be said to mean that the employee may not act so that injury is afflicted upon the employer and make sure not to end up in a situation in which the conflict between the employee's different duties may arise.

This work investigates the boundaries between the employee's right to freedom of expression and criticism and the duty of loyalty in the use of social media, or in other words: When can an employee's expressions in social media be construed as disloyal behaviour against the employer? The various issues that may arise in employment relationships regarding social media include the spread of information, that the recipients are unknown combined with the increased availability of social media due to the increasing use of smartphones. The paper gives a number of suggestions for solutions. In this part, the importance of a clear IT policy governing the use of social media is recalled, both when the employee acts on behalf of the employer in his name as well as in a private capacity. Education of employees and managers is another way to effectively avoid conflict.},
  author       = {Bååth, Olivia},
  keyword      = {arbetsrätt,kritikrätt,yttrandefrihet},
  language     = {swe},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Arbetstagarens yttrandefrihet i sociala medier och lojalitetsplikten},
  year         = {2013},
}