Love is in the Air

Valentine’s Day is coming and love is in the air

However, romantic relationships at work do not always end well and can affect the working relationship. Where it interferes with work, it becomes a concern of the employer.

What should you consider? Should you have a written policy?

Whereas, larger companies may have a written policy, smaller companies may not wish to, but nevertheless consideration should be given to the following issues and how they would deal with them :

  • Does the company wish to impose any rules on workplace relationships?
  • Are staff required to inform their manager if they enter into a workplace relationship?
  • How should any conflict of interest be managed?
  • How to manage perceived or actual favouritism when a manager is involved in a relationship with a junior member of staff.
  • Dealing with claims of bullying and harassment if the relationship goes wrong.

Ensure any policy or rules you impose applies to everyone in the business – from the MD down.

It is important to strike a balance between protecting the interests of the business and your staff’s right to a private life.

You may wish to inform staff that workplace relationships are acceptable as long as they don’t affect work. You may wish to discuss expectations of behaviour in work, such as:

  • No kissing, touching or holding hands in the workplace,
  • Inform staff that all communications should be professional, eg work emails,
  • Awareness of confidential information that may be passed between partners.

Quite often HR get involved when conduct is breached and it becomes a disciplinary matter. If this is the case, act promptly and deal with it.

If Hill HR Consultancy can help you with HR in your business, we would be pleased to have a chat with you. Contact us on 07483 253984 or email claire.hill@hillhr.co.uk.