Britain’s employers need to draw up consistent ground rules covering the use of social networking sites in the workplace, it has been argued.

Recent research carried out by Sophos found that around half of all businesses in the UK now block their employees from accessing Facebook, with bosses worried about the impact such sites will have on productivity and even security.

At the same time, a considerable proportion of the other half has yet to establish guidelines on the use of the internet by workers, thereby leading to possible confusion and potential disciplinary issues in the future.

As such, the Trades Union Congress (TUC) has called for the issue to be addressed once and for all.

Brendan Barber, general secretary of the workers’ group noted: "Problems arise when employers are unsure how to deal with these sites and overreact by disciplining staff.

"Employers should sit down with unions and staff to agree the ground rules on internet usage [so] that everyone knows what they can and can’t do."

Just recently, a 16-year-old administrator was sacked for labelling her job as ‘boring’ on her Facebook profile.