New research by Slater & Gordon has found that 77% of employees do not consult HR before entering into a relationship with a fellow member of staff.
32% of those entering into these relationships were also unsure about whether their employment contract forbade such actions. 70% said an office romance negatively effected their career, 17% lost their job as a result of one.
These relationships can not only disrupt work, but lead to gossip around the office and social issues between staff. Alarmingly women and/or the more junior of the staff taking part in the relationship ended up on the receiving end of the issues caused. The issue can also extend into fully committed relationships that may have existed before the employee was hired, with their husband/wife already at the company.
Billy McDiarmind, Director at HR Consultancy, said on spouses being employed by the same organisations: “We have to be realistic about this – human nature means that hiring of spouses can often not be avoided and may actually be detrimental to your business. I think with a bit of common sense, this should be manageable. It is very common within a number of our key clients, especially the larger organisations. They often will have a policy of keeping spouses in separate teams (or even buildings!) to manage this.”
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