facebookA member of staff at the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) was fired after being caught using Facebook on his mobile phone during office hours, it has been reported.

According to figures obtained through a Freedom of Information request, DVLA bosses have previously dismissed three members of staff over inappropriate comments about the agency, a colleague or customers on Facebook.

Furthermore, seven employees at the DVLA in Swansea were also suspended earlier this year for posting ‘inappropriate’ comments or jokes on the site.

Commenting on the most recent dismissal, a DVLA spokesman said the worker had other “conduct issues”, adding that DVLA staff “cannot access any social networking sites on DVLA computers”.

He stated:

“Although instances of staff using social media inappropriately are extremely rare, any incidents of staff using social media at work on their personal phones are always investigated and could result in disciplinary action.”

In response to the dismissal, Steven George-Hilley, Director of Technology at the think-tank Parliament Street, said:

“Sacking staff for using Facebook at work demonstrates a draconian approach to social media.

“Instead, employers should be encouraging staff to use social networking sites to deliver faster, more interactive services to customers.”