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Inter-office Relationships



The phenomenon that is BODYGUARD charting the relationship between a personal protection officer (PPO) David Budd and Home Secretary Julia Montague raises some key HR questions about personal relationships within the workplace.
 
In the situation between Budd and Montague, the main challenge and concern is not just due to Montague’s profile and important position within the government; but also due to her seniority.
 
It is vital that Organisations have a clear code of conduct policy in place covering relationships at work. Most public funded Companies have policies requiring specific actions to be taken in the event of a relationship developing in the workplace. The scope is vast- varying from a relationship being banded completely, to them being allowed but only under specific circumstances. Where a clear company policy is not in place, it is recommended that employees are encouraged to disclose a change in their relationship status to their manager or to their HR department. A risk assessment is also suggested to determine the possible effects of the relationship,  particularly where the relationship is between manager or senior personnel and a direct subordinate. In some cases it may be necessary to transfer one party to an alternate department or business site, or one party may be required to resign based on the impact to the business. In other cases both individuals may be allowed to remain with caveats put in place to safeguard both parties and the Company as a whole. These include restrictions on decisions which may affect both parties such as salary reviews or increases, duties etc. And both parties would be deterred from sharing confidential information with each other that in regular circumstances they would not be privy to.
 
The overall key to ensuring both parties are protected in line with the Company’s duty of care - whilst remaining in the businesses best interest - is that clear policies must be in place and enforced.
 

For a FREE HR health check on your policies, procedures and forms to ensure they are GDPR compliant and will protection your business from risk, contact Harries Human Resources today on 01206 865464 OR email: admin@harrieshr.co.uk

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