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Romance and The Workplace - Should they Ever Mix?

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Most people spend more time with their colleagues than they do with anyone else and develop close working relationships. Strong working relationships can often define the success of a team.  But what if you or your employees start to feel your working relationships are starting to feel more romantic than professional?

Putting a clause into contracts forbidding office relationships isn’t likely to work.  You may end up losing highly valued staff for falling in love!

Perhaps it would be better to encourage employees to keep their work life and romantic life separately? 

Unintended consequences of a romance turning sour, could result in one person receiving unwanted attention which could be perceived as harassment.  Therefore, it is imperative for employers to have a bullying and harassment procedure in place.  Having a policy on relationships at work can help when personal relationships sometimes result in problems at work.

This may state that employees must not allow a personal relationship with a colleague to influence their conduct at work and include a requirement to disclose to their employer any work relationship that may give rise to a conflict of interest.  Line Managers can be given guidelines on managing personal relationships at work.

If you are an employer or an employee in need of advice, talk to our Employment Law experts at Slade Legal.