Relationships at work

Workplace relationships are common, given the amount of time that colleagues can spend together while at work.

However, a personal relationship at work can result in problems, and many employers choose to have a policy on relationships at work. These should strike a balance between employees’ right to a private life and the employer’s right to protect its business interests.

The policy could stress that employees must not allow a personal relationship with a colleague to influence their conduct at work, and include a requirement to disclose to the 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.


workplace mediation

How workplace mediation reduced conflict and stress during Barts hospital merger

Workplace mediation can prevent conflict at work leading to disciplinary problems or sickness absence, but awareness is low in many...

Vale Park, home of Port Vale Football Club. Photo: REX/Matt West/BPI

Tribunal watch: Football club worker dismissed over rumours of workplace relationship with player

26 Jan 2015

A former worker at League One football club Port Vale has won her claim for sex discrimination after she was...

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REX/Courtesy Everett Collection

Kiss and tell? HR’s role in relationships at work

27 Aug 2014

When does a relationship at work need to be declared? How does an employer strike the right balance between respecting...

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Health and safety - recent tribunal cases

Tribunal watch: Fairness of dismissals of employees who put themselves in danger

2 Jun 2014

Can an employer dismiss an employee who puts her- or himself, but no one else, in danger? That was the...

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Valentine’s Day dilemma: Office relationships and sexual harassment

14 Feb 2012

An office romance has turned bad and now one of the parties is alleging sexual harassment. As he was in...

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Nearly half of workers unhappy with career progression

16 Aug 2011

Nearly half of workers feel that they have been unable to progress in their careers, with many pointing to a...

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One-third of workers would report underperforming colleagues

15 Aug 2011

Almost one employee in three (31%) would report colleagues to managers if they thought that they had been seriously underperforming, even...

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Unapproachable bosses making life difficult for employees

17 Jun 2011

Three-quarters of workers regularly make decisions that they don’t feel they are trained or qualified to make, and nearly two-thirds...

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Managers to blame for worsening workplace morale, says CMI

24 May 2011

Morale in the workplace is getting worse and managers could be to blame, according to the Chartered Management Institute (CMI).The...

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Employers spending more time resolving conflict

9 May 2011

The amount of time spent by employers resolving individual workplace conflict has increased in more than 40% of UK organisations...

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HR not best placed to manage conflict, say UK workers

9 Nov 2010

The majority of UK employees do not believe that HR departments are best placed to manage conflict in the workplace,...

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Foxconn managers raise pay and ask staff to pledge not to commit suicide

28 May 2010

Managers at the Foxconn factory in China are struggling to maintain calm after another employee attempted suicide.The electronics worker tried...

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Love is in the air: managing relationships in the workplace

12 Feb 2010

As St Valentine’s Day looms ever closer, we look at the potential pitfalls of going gooey-eyed over a colleague. So...

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Difficult times, drastic measures – SMEs have their say about bad management practices & cost-cutting initiatives

24 Sep 2009

A recent survey of small to medium sized businesses by XLN Telecom – the UK’s leading telecoms company serving the small...

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Three of a kind: managing workplace conflict

13 May 2009

The Essential Guide to Workplace Mediation and Conflict ResolutionAuthors: Nora Doherty and Marcelas GuylerISBN: 0749450193This is a very practical book,...

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