Boss dating employee law
“If it is left up to a third party to inform management of the relationship, this not only looks bad for the couple concerned, but it also makes management think there are more potential problems than perhaps there are,” she says.“While I dislike the term ‘love contracts’, I believe that this sort of case comes under the heading of conflict of interest, which in other contexts, is quite clearly something that organisations will not allow.Two exclusive surveys show that HR execs aren't doing what it takes to ensure that boss/subordinate dating doesn't result in costly, unnecessary sexual harassment lawsuits.One survey showed that 56% of HR executives feel that under no circumstances should a boss ever date a direct report.After a first date or only when full consummation has taken place?– long working hours have undoubtedly helped make in-house entanglements the rule rather than the exception.
How does an employer strike the right balance between respecting lovebirds’ privacy and protecting its business interests? Churchman dislikes the whole notion of US-style love contracts or “consensual relationship agreements”, because they intrude on private lives and, under UK law, offer scant protection against potential sexual harassment claims if an affair turns sour.Aside from our commitment to meritocracy and fairness potentially being jeopardised, there could also be an issue of sensitive information being used as a lever of power.” Yet according to other employers, any move to immerse love and romance in HR processes should be resisted, not simply because it smacks of snooping, but because the majority of sexual dalliances between colleagues are fleeting and may even be good for business.“HR tends to focus on the negative aspects of colleagues falling in love, but in my experience cooperation between different departments can markedly increase when there’s an ongoing relationship spanning different job roles,” says William Rogers, chief executive of commercial radio operator UKRD.Yet, in common with a growing number of organisations spanning everything from consumer goods to local government, Pw C makes it a condition of employment that any potentially serious office liaison – particularly one that involves a manager and a direct report – is officially disclosed and managed appropriately.“You can’t legislate against office romances or indeed falling in love, and any outright ban would be totally unworkable,” says Churchman.
For those who choose not to spill the beans, however, there is the ever-present danger of the rumour mill.