The recent sacking of the McDonald’s Boss for having an intimate relationship with a work colleague has sparked the conversation of workplace romances and relationships..
Firstly, it is important to state that there is nothing in employment law that prohibits an employee from having a relationship with a colleague but a number of organisations do have policies on workplace relationships.
Some professions and organisations may require transparency on workplace relationships. Some examples of this may include a Manager having a relationship with a CEO/Director for a financial institution, indeed, lots of financial businesses may require this degree of transparency or complete disallowance. A further example could be in the medical or care industry, where a relationship between a practitioner with their patient and Care Support Worker with a service user, where safeguarding may be the main factor.
How does this affect my organisation and staff?
Below is some basic advice if you feel that you would need to prevent a conflict of interest in your organisation by requiring transparency on workplace relationships or ensuring safeguarding concerns are prevented.
It would be advisable to have a policy in place which objectively states the requirement of the employee to disclose such a relationship. It is also important to have grounds for why this would be necessary. (i.e. some of the reasons discussed above).
Before considering adopting a workplace relationship policy, it is important to seek advice from your dedicated Carers HR advisor who would also advise on drafting this into your policy. It is crucial to ensure that the requirement in the policy and subsequent action is non-discriminatory and is in place for business protection or safeguarding purposes.
A DLP advisor can advise on remedies if this policy is breached by an employee.