A report suggests that a majority of employees are using Twitter, Facebook and other similar sites spending an average of almost an hour each working day on social media.

The research by the law firm, William Fry, also found that over 46%  of employers do not have a social media policy in place.

This leaves employers and their businesses open to internal disputes, abuse and potential litigation.

The study indicates that 80% of workers are spending an average of 56 minutes on social media during office hours.

Restrictions imposed by employers are being subverted by workers who are using personal devices during office hours.

The report observes that there is limited value in imposing absolute restrictions.

It suggests instead that companies should focus on defining realistic limits.

The authors say that the most significant challenge presented by this area is what happens to work-related contacts when an employee leaves the company.

The research shows that only 17% of employers have discussed with their employees the position regarding work-related social media connections when employment ends.

It also warns employers that they may be held liable for acts of bullying, harassment or discrimination carried out by employees on social media sites.

This is even if the acts were carried out without the employer's consent or knowledge.