Should workplace relationships and friendships be declared?

Following the revelations earlier this year relating to Phillip Schofield’s relationship at work, ITV has now introduced policy where personal relationships must be declared. It has been reported that the TV channel has introduced new rules stating “If a personal relationship exists between you and another colleague (whether it started prior to or during the course of your employment or engagement with ITV), both parties must disclose this to the company at the earliest opportunity.”  But the rules go beyond just romantic relationships, requiring workers to declare “sexual, romantic or close relationship or friendship (whether short or long term)” with their workers.

The policy goes on to state that anyone failing to disclose relevant information could end up facing disciplinary action including termination of employment. The rules are said to apply to anyone involved with the organisation, including freelancers, contractors, consultants, agency staff, volunteers, apprentices and those on work experience.

121 HR Solutions would recommend that any employer looking to introduce such a policy should ensure that it is proportionate, and that it is fit for purpose – taking into account the culture, size and resources of the organisation.  Should you wish to implement a personal working relationship policy in your business, contact 121 HR Solutions to discuss further

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