UK employers without a formal office romance policy could be risking costly tribunal claims.
They should issue a code of conduct explaining acceptable standards of behaviour, according to HR consultancy Croner.
Research shows that most businesses have unofficial views on office affairs yet only 20% have formal policies in place.
Croner said that when office relationships break up, employers often have to contend with awkwardness and bad feeling, reduced productivity and morale.
There is also the threat of sexual harassment claims from a vengeful lover, or sex discrimination allegations should the employer re-deploy either party to a different department without following correct procedures.
Richard Smith, HR expert at Croner, said: “You can’t legislate against love, but companies should consider issuing guidelines to employees on acceptable behaviour if they have a relationship with a colleague, and must include clearly defined grievance procedures.”