Mander Hadley Logo


Mander Hadley Solicitors in Coventry 024 7663 1212


Mander Hadley Solicitors in Kenilworth 01926 857631

Cover all
  the angles

Related links Down Arrow

Make an enquiry Down Arrow

Read more articles in: Amanda Hyam, Blog, Employment Law

How to manage personal relationships within the workplace

Defining personal relationships in the workplace can be difficult as most would define it as a romantic relationship, but it could include family or friends and commercial partners.

Developing policies for this sensitive topic can help employees understand what’s expected of them and protect employers.

So, when considering a company policy, it’s worth considering bringing in a legal expert who can cover all the necessary areas to avoid potential legal action.

How should a policy be implemented?

It should strike a balance between respecting the private life of employees and the employer’s right to protect its business interests.

A policy introduced by owners or stakeholders should define:

  • Relationships between co-workers
  • Relationships between managers and employees.

When agreed, the policy should include:

  • Outlining what the policy covers and describing what is and is not acceptable
  • Stating clearly that your organisation prohibits any kind of harassment or discrimination
  • Outlining the consequences resulting from violating the workplace relationship policy.

Relationships between those at a similar level are generally acceptable, but managers having relationships with non-managers is more problematic and can lead to conflicts and accusations of favouritism.

So, setting out a policy can help by:

  • Encouraging staff to avoid secret relationships and be transparent, which can avoid further problems
  • Clearly defining what behaviour is accepted at work, thereby reducing the risk of misunderstandings
  • Protecting the company by clearly describing which behaviour is prohibited
  • At the same time, those relationship policies must protect employees from discrimination and harassment
  • Accepting that once relationships happen, these effective policies can lead to fewer distractions when employees begin or end relationships.

Certain areas must be monitored strictly, including not allowing a personal relationship with a colleague to influence their conduct at work or lead to a conflict of interest.

Line managers can be given guidelines and training on managing personal relationships at work.

For help and advice on dealing with relationships in the workplace and related employment matters, contact our expert team.

Mander Hadley

Mander Hadley Solicitors is not only a long established firm, but is vibrant and successful, with a forward thinking approach.