Groups, groups and more groups… Of friends, parents of children’s mates, the list goes on. It’s completely impossible to escape WhatsApp groups and we all know that, regardless of the purpose for which they are created, conversations/messages always end up on some other matter. This is one of the reasons why we shiver whenever our clients tell us about WhatsApp groups in the workplace. The reality is that they have become a “tool” that has gradually imposed itself on communications in the workplace. They are often created voluntarily by employees to discuss work issues, often by middle managers, each with their own rules, number of “administrators”, range of issues that are discussed, etc.

The fact is that, along with the growing use of WhatsApp groups for work purposes, the legal problems they raise are becoming more frequent and pressing. From issues of discriminatory treatment (exclusion of a particular employee from the group, for instance), to issues of information protection and security (it is common for someone to “forget” to exclude people from the group who are no longer with the company, and may even have moved to a competitor, and thus continue to have access to information relating to their former employer) to, unfortunately more common, issues relating to behavior that may have disciplinary relevance within such groups.

VCA has prepared a document for you on WhatsApp groups and employment contracts.

Labour Department

Hugo Martins Braz | Tiago Lopes Fernandez