Workplace romances are commonplace, but risky

Almost eight in every 10 UK workers have admitted to having a workplace romance, while six out of 10 employees have met their life partner at work, according to research.

A survey of 1,274 employees across the UK by law firm Peninsula revealed that 79 per cent have had a workplace relationship, while 65 per cent met their partners at work.

Out of the 79 per cent of those who had a workplace relationship, 73 per cent said that they tried to keep it a secret from other work colleagues.

Peter Done, managing director of Peninsula, said managers should not intervene unless relationships are seriously burdening work and productivity.

“There are cases where a workplace romance may disrupt work and, if this is the case then the individuals needs to be informed,” he said.

“Employees need to ensure that they are not taking up company resources such as e-mail as this can be costly to employers.”

There are many cases where failed romances have turned nasty, even to the point where dismissing staff has been necessary, Done said.

This can create all sorts of problems in the long run and may lead to employment tribunals, he warned.

Managers also have to be careful that favouritism does not occur, especially where one of the partners is in management, because this can lead to all sorts of problems.

Employers would be well advised to implement policies to deal with such situations, Done added.

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