Personal relationships among co-workers pose several risks to the business. They can lead to:
Interference or influence in day to day activities
Nepotism or favouritism
Breach of confidentiality
Personal conflicts in the workplace
These risks are not limited to sexual relationships and apply to any close relationship, including members of one`s family, and can occur when the relationship exists wholly within the same organisation or where an employee of a customer, supplier or competitor is involved.
Employers are limited in their ability to prohibit personal relationships altogether. However, they can take steps to minimise the risk and to manage the potential difficulties which can arise when personal relationships overlap with professional ones.
This fact sheet provides general guidance on the legal implications involved in managing personal relationships in the workplace.