Valentine’s Day ‘employee engagement’ warning issued to love-starved workers

Right on top of the stack of Valentine’s cards from mysterious admirers in their in-trays this morning, HR professionals may well find a rather less-enticing memo asking them to educate staff in office romance etiquette.

But far from encouraging ’employee engagement’, both trade union umbrella body the TUC and employment law firm Peninsula have issued warnings to employers over the pitfalls of ‘Sara’ from accounts flirting with ‘Daniel’ in sales.

Rather than composing love poems and dreaming up gift ideas, the TUC prepared for Valentine’s Day by producing an online guide to relationships at work.

Office romantics can allegedly find a host of useful tips in the guide, including what to do when relationships at work happen and, believe it or not, how to say no.

TUC general secretary Brendan Barber said: “Office Romeos and Juliets may need to be reminded of where to draw the line at work. Guidelines reminding staff of the need to keep their love lives separate from work, and not to let lover’s tiffs make workmates feel uncomfortable, will prove useful to staff and employers alike.”

Meanwhile, Peninsula published results of a survey which revealed that while David Beckham and Angelina Jolie are the celebrities that employees would most like to give a damn good ‘office romance’ to, 82% of employers think office flings should not happen.

However, Peninsula’s managing director Peter Done had some romantic advice for HR professionals on the day of love.

“Give proper training to all staff upon commencing employment. Explain the problems associated with relationships in the workplace. Clearly state to staff in management positions the complications workplace romances between management and junior staff can have. Employers may wish to discourage displays of affection, which can often make other colleagues feel uncomfortable,” he said.


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