Employees are being reminded that their public actions reflect on the company they work for. 

A legal firm has sent out advice to all office employees to be mindful of their public conduct and what they put out on social media.

It comes after a primary school teacher was fired this week after footage shown of her kicking and slapping a horse went viral across the world. 

The video of Sarah Moulds, 37, shows her repeatedly slapping a horse in the face, kicking it and dragging it to a trailer after a Cottesmore Hunt meet. It has been viewed over 2 million times and sparked outrage on social media. 

Ms Moulds’ behaviour was condemned by the RSPCA and the Cottesmore Hunt after it was shared by the anti-hunting group the Hertfordshire Hunt Saboteurs, which was observing the meet.

HR aspect

Most importantly in an HR context, Ms Moulds lost her job this week at Somerby School, after she was suspended last month. She has also been released from her leadership role at the Pony Club, which is a charity that encourages young people to ride horses.  

Somerby School is part of the Mowbray Education Trust, which represents seven schools in the Melton Mowbray area.

Mowbray Education Trust CEO, Paul Maddox said: ‘I can confirm that Sarah Moulds’ employment with the Trust has been terminated. As a Trust we are committed to ensuring the best standard of education for all of our young people and we look forward to continuing this throughout the 2021/22 academic year and beyond.’

Mrs Moulds was a senior leader and class three team teacher and a director of the Knossington and Somerby preschool before she was let go.

The Pony Club said: ““The welfare of horses and ponies is of the utmost importance to the Pony Club, therefore the lady in question has been removed from her voluntary position as a team organiser for a branch.”

Employee actions could cost their job

Philip Richardson, partner and head of employment law at Stephensons said the incident is a reminder that an employee’s actions outside of work can ultimately cost them their job. 

He said: “While many organisations wouldn’t want to manage an employee’s activities away from work, there are circumstances where it may be appropriate for an employer to terminate employment when misconduct is highlighted and this reflects on the role they undertake for the employer. 

He said that actions such as these are when an employee’s personal and work life collide. As Ms Mould’s actions were reprehensible by their nature, and condemned across the world, it paints her employer in a bad light. 

Phillip said: “It could be argued that Ms Moulds’ conduct has undermined her employer’s trust and confidence in her performing her duties and the responsibilities she has as a teacher as well as considering the potential reputational damage to the school and Education Trust.”