Love is in the air | Moorepay
January 30, 2024

Love is in the air

Valentines day at work

…everywhere I look around. Sang by John Paul Young back in 1977, and still dusted down each year and thereafter as part of Valentines Day celebrations every February 14.

Valentines Day has always been synonymous with love and relationships, where people send cards and flowers and have romantic meals out for two.

But how does this positive outpouring of love translate within today’s modern workplace, where equality and sensitivity should take a precedence. 

What can organisations put in place so not to cause any upset or emotional discomfort to employees, who may not want to recognise this day? 

A few things to note and enforce;

  • Flirting and hugs are still off limits. Despite it being February 14, the rules regarding unwanted physical contact still apply.
  • Forget the cards and presents. It’s best to avoid these all together, especially for line managers. Cards, presents and emails can make others feel uncomfortable.

It can be considered that romantic workplace relationships can raise some sensitive issues for employers. You need to consider, that on the one hand the private lives of employees should be respected.  And on the other, the interests of the employer may be seriously affected by complications arising in personal relationships.

Relationships at work

All employees who work together may form friendships and, in some cases, close personal relationships. As a rule, most organisations do not wish to interfere with their employees’ personal friendships and relationships. However, all employees are expected to continue to behave in an appropriate, professional, and responsible manner, fulfilling their roles diligently and effectively.  Organisations must aim to strike a balance between employee rights to a private life and their company right to protect their organisation’s interests. You can read our full blog on workplace relationships here.

Personal relationships in the workplace. 

To achieve this, we have suggested some rules and procedures, and these may include the following:

If you embark on a close personal relationship at work, whether with a colleague, client, customer, supplier, contractor etc.: –

  • You must not allow your relationship to influence your conduct at work.
  • You must not behave intimately during normal working hours whether on our or the client premises.
  • You should advise your line manager if you embark on a relationship.
  • You should always remain professional and not allow relationships to disrupt your own or others work.
  • You should not bring your personal relationships into the workplace.

The main points to consider when creating a policy that covers personal relationships at work is ensure the contents are clearly written, that they are easily understood, and that any outcomes are clearly communicated. You have a duty of care to ensure all employees are covered and treated fairly and always remain professional. If as a member of staff, you should begin a relationship with a client, supplier, contractor etc. then you must declare it to your line manager immediately.  Otherwise, others may perceive that this potentially allows abuse of your role, responsibilities, or level of authority.

In the meantime, we’ll leave you with this (LINK)

Further advice and support

If you require advice or support on writing a policy relating to personal relationship ion the workplace, please contact the policy team on 0345 073 0240 who will be happy to provide further help and support.

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Stephen Johnson
About the author

Stephen Johnson

Stephen has over 25 years experience in private sector HR and management roles, working as a Manager for over 10 years and eventually moving into the financial services industry. In his current role as an HR Policy Review Consultant he develops, reviews and maintains our clients’ employment documentation. With extensive knowledge of management initiatives and HR disciplines Stephen is commercially focused and supports clients in delivering their business objectives whilst minimising the risk of litigation.