People spend a lot of time with their colleagues and it’s inevitable that sometimes working relationships turn into romantic relationships. However, there are potential risks to employers and employees if romantic relationships between colleagues are conducted inappropriately or end badly, for example if they result in favouritism or unfair treatment. These risks are potentially greater if romantic relationships occur between a manager and a more junior member of staff, particularly if they are in the same team or working on the same project.

This factsheet looks at how employers can establish clear policies and procedures around relationships in the workplace, whilst respecting employees’ right to a private life. 

This factsheet was last updated by Ben Willmott and Rachel Suff.

Ben Willmott: Head of Public Policy, CIPD

Ben leads the CIPD’s Public Policy team, which works to inform and shape debate, government policy and legislation. His particular research and policy areas of interest include employment relations, employee engagement and well-being, absence and stress management, and leadership and management capability.

Rachel Suff: Senior Employee Relations Adviser, CIPD

Rachel informs CIPD policy thinking on health and wellbeing as well as employment relations. She has over 25 years’ experience in the employment and HR arena.

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