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LEGAL UPDATE – TUC guide to romance in the office

TUC guide to romance in the office 

With romance in the air on the 14th of this month, the TUC has urged employers not to ban love from the workplace but instead follow the guidelines in their new online guide, Work Smart – Relationships in the workplace, which it claims will also help employees find out where they stand on love and the law.

According to the guide, following a lead from employment practices in the States, UK employers are increasingly trying to restrict relationships that might blur the lines between the public and the professional. The aim is to avoid potential conflicts of interest, and protect the company from sexual harassment claims, but, claims the guide, too often such heavy handed restrictions treat staff like children, and fail to respect their right to privacy. 

The guide provides advice to staff who have just started a relationship at work and are worried that their employer may sack them as a result. It also warns what may happen if they are found in a compromising position in the stationary cupboard, reminding would-be lovers of the need to maintain an acceptable standard of behaviour in work at all times. 

Those keen on starting a relationship at work can find a host of useful tips in the guide, e.g. where they stand on relationships at work, what to do when they happen, what to do when they break up and what to do if they want to say no. Bit like an agony aunt then – “Dear TUC, I just saw this person’s eyes over the water cooler and ……….. “ The full guide is at www.worksmart.org.uk/valentine

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