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Why Romance in the Workplace is not always a Good Thing

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In many cases a personal relationship between staff will not interfere with work. However, sometimes a personal relationship will be or can become problematic because it adversely impacts on other colleagues or negatively affects business efficiency. Personal relationships can be particularly awkward where they involve members of the same team or are between a supervisor or manager and subordinate.  

Potentially personal relationships are a legitimate management concern. A policy governing personal relationships in the workplace is often a useful resource to refer to if problems were to arise. This policy would seek to address a number of issues which may occur including the following:

  • Risks to the confidentiality of business information
  • Legal risks regarding discrimination and harassment
  • Potential conflicts of interest to those involved in personal relationships
  • Actual or perceived bias regarding recruitment, promotion, annual leave allocation, appraisals, discipline and grievance and other operational matters where staff in a personal relationship are also in a direct reporting or subordinate relationship
  • Fear of favouritism by other colleagues
  • General adverse impact on team dynamics and reduction in team morale
  • Outputs may be disrupted in the event of relationship breakdown
  • Impact on HR department or management resources
  • Increased legal risks in the event of relationship breakdown

If you’d like to discuss Workplace Employment Policies contact us to make an appointment with one of our Employment Solicitors

Please note that the information and opinions contained in this article are not intended to be comprehensive, nor to provide legal advice. No responsibility for its accuracy or correctness is assumed by Pearson Solicitors and Financial Advisers Ltd or any of its members or employees. Professional legal advice should be obtained before taking, or refraining from taking, any action as a result of this article.

This blog was posted some time ago and its contents may now be out of date. For the latest legal position relating to these issues, get in touch with the author - or make an enquiry now.

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