Poké-wrong

This month, it has been hard to escape the launch of the Pokémon Go game with the country getting out-and-about on the streets to chase Pokémon using their phone’s GPS.

However, the phenomenon seems to have already claimed its first employment law victim as it has been reported that an unfortunate Vice President of Digital Marketing lost his job after expressing his frustration at the lack of Pokémon in Singapore on Facebook. The exasperated Pokémon trainer apparently exclaimed that: ‘you can’t f***ing catch Pokémon in this piece of f***ing s**t country’ which upset his Singaporean hosts and, by all accounts, his employer as well.

It remains to be seen if there will be more Pokémon related dismissals: chasing after Pikachu (pictured) is unlikely to excuse a late arrival or a long lunch, but in any event this case serves as another reminder of the need for caution when using social media.

Dismissal may well be justified where there is damage to an employer’s reputation because of a negative, or derogatory comment placed on social media as, for example, the HSBC staff who posted an ill-advised video recorded at a go-karting away day found out last year.

One of the best ways for employers to avoid these types of issues is by confronting them head on by having a clear policy in place which is communicated to their employees.

Dominic Bonham