Thinking of Dating a Work Colleague?

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The entire world appears to be discussing sexual harassment and abuse of power within the workplace which has triggered enquiries from several of our clients about what to do about personal relationships between colleagues in the workplace.

There is no question that historically, the workplace has proven to be the catalyst for many long-term marriages – just think of Barack and Michelle Obama or Bill and Melinda Gates.

So relationships between workplace colleagues can work where complete professionalism is maintained on both sides but so often they don’t! When they fall out, drama ensues and often leads to one or other, or even both, having to leave.

Significant problems can be caused for the employer where the relationship is between manager and subordinate. It’s reasonable to expect them not to engage in any public displays of affection or behaviours that could make colleagues feel uncomfortable and to not take part in any decision making process affecting the pay or career succession opportunities, etc but what about the general chit chat in the evening or the “pillow talk” where information is passed on that would not normally have been given. Popular TV shows such as The Apprentice and The Office have shown humorous glimpses into some issues that can occur.

Companies should give some thought to ensuring they are protected in this kind of situation more than ever with such heightened media interest currently.

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