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Personal relationships at work policy template

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Use this model personal relationships at work policy to set out rules on the management of personal relationships at work, and what expectations there are for employees.

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How long to understand and prepare this policy?
5 mins
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personal relationships at work policy template

What is a Personal relationships at work policy?

Having individuals who are involved in relationships working alongside each can present legal and practical concerns for employers.

For example, the real or perceived risk of a conflict of interest, confidentiality issues and a risk of disruption, or worse, possible legal claims if the relationship were to break down.

Best practice timescale for this to be issued
When should this policy be issued?
During onboarding / after changes / planned refresher
Issued by who, to whom
Who should issue this policy, and to whom?
Internally issued to appropriate recipients in your Company
Applicable legal jurisdictions
In which jurisdictions can this policy be used?
Great Britain & NI (United Kingdom), Worldwide

Personal relationships at work

Overview

This policy sets out rules on the management of personal relationships at work, and what expectations there are for employees.

Scope

This policy is applicable to all employees of [company name].

General principles

The Company recognises that employees who work together may form personal friendships and, in some cases, close personal relationships. The Company does not, as a general rule, wish to interfere with such personal friendships and relationships. However, it must also ensure that employees continue to behave in an appropriate, professional and responsible manner at work and that they continue to fulfil their job duties both diligently and effectively. These rules are therefore aimed at striking a balance between your right to a private life and the Company's right to protect its business interests.

The following rules apply to employees embarking on close personal relationships at work, whether the relationship is with a fellow worker, client, customer, supplier or contractor:

  • you must not allow your relationship to influence your conduct at work. Intimate behaviour during normal working hours or on Company or client premises is prohibited. This includes holding hands, other close physical contact, discussions of a sexual nature or kissing
  • if you embark on a relationship with another employee in your department, you should declare this to your line manager as soon as reasonably practicable
  • if you are a manager and you embark on a relationship with a more junior member of staff, you should declare this to a Director as soon as reasonably practicable. This is particularly important if you are the line manager of the employee because of the risk of the junior employee being afforded more favourable treatment, or less favourable treatment if the relationship subsequently breaks down. In order to avoid a situation where you have managerial authority over a junior member of staff with whom you are having a relationship, the Company reserves the right to elect to transfer one or both of you to a job in another department, either on a temporary basis or permanently. The Company will first consult with both of you to try and reach an amicable agreement on transfer
  • if you begin a relationship with a client, customer, supplier or contractor and your relationship allows the potential for you to abuse your level of authority, you must declare the relationship to your line manager or a Director as soon as reasonably practicable. In these circumstances, the Company reserves the right to elect to transfer you to a job in another department where you will not be able to exert undue influence over the other party, either on a temporary basis or permanently. The Company will first consult with you to try and reach an amicable agreement on transfer
  • if a personal relationship (or the breakdown of a personal relationship) starts to affect your performance or conduct at work, then your line manager will speak to you with a view to your previous level of performance or conduct being restored. However, if your performance or conduct fails to improve or it reverts to a problem level, the matter will become a disciplinary one
  • if you are having or have had a personal relationship and you are found to have afforded either more or less favourable treatment to the other employee because of this relationship or you have exercised undue influence over a client, customer, supplier or contractor, this may be a disciplinary matter.

A breach of these rules is a disciplinary offence and will be dealt with under the Company's disciplinary procedure. Depending on the seriousness of the offence, it may amount to gross misconduct and could result in your summary dismissal.

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This policy [does not] form[s] part of your terms and conditions of employment.

Version: [1.0]

Issue date: [date]

Author: [name, job title]

Why buy our Personal relationships at work policy template?

  • It's easily editable and implementable, saving you time and money
  • It's designed by CIPD accedited Chartered HR practitioners with operational experience in this area
  • You will maintain compliance with ACAS guidelines, legislation, and industry best practices
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  • Email notifications for any updates made to this template or its accompanying materials
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