Employment Lawyers Can Answer Your Employment Law Questions
Hello, my name is XXXXX XXXXX it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today.
How long have you worked there for?
I've worked here 9 years & been in a relationship with a colleague for 2 years
OK, thank you, XXXXX XXXXX this with me - I will look into this for you, get my response ready and get back to you on here. No need to wait around and you will get an email when I have responded, thank you
Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX receive an email?
Apologies, you mentioned you'd email.
Many thanks for your patience. Kissing a colleague, or even having a relationship with one is not automatically considered a sackable offence. The law does not make such incidents disciplinary offences. However, this could be made into a misconduct issue if there were specific policies in the workplace to prohibit that. For example, some employer may have a specific policy that says inter-work relationships are not allowed because they wish to avoid any favouritism, bias, or simply to avoid rumours being spread ensure that the business is not in any way affected. In the event that there was a specific policy preventing any intimate relationships in the workplace, then you could be in breach and the employer could potentially treat this as a disciplinary issue. Whether it will amount to a dismissal is difficult to say although I can say that due to the length of your service you are protected against unfair dismissal and the employer must be able to show they had a fair reason for dismissing you and also follow a fair procedure. The procedure would expect them to be able to show that dismissal was a reasonable decision to be taken in the circumstances and this is where they may potentially fail. If you just had a relationship with someone else in the workplace but neither of you took advantage of that at work, such as giving more favourable treatment to each other, like promotion, etc then this is something that should just be dealt with either through a warning or asking you to reconsider your position and perhaps end the relationship. If no damage has been done to the company as a result of this, or others have not been directly affected in a negative way, then dismissal would be a harsh outcome. If this was to end up in a dismissal you may certainly appeal it with the employer first and then even consider making an unfair dismissal claim in the employment tribunal.
I've checked my contract of employment & there is no mention of any policies against relationships at work, does this mean the company cannot take any disciplinary action?
It depends if they believe you have done something wrong, for example breaching trust and confidence if you treated this person more favourably than others in work, or of they did that to you, it would really depend on the circumstances and if there is any evidence that the employer may find that would prompt them to investigate this further but if everything is in order then it is unlikely that any disciplinary action would be considered fair
What if my boss thinks I have breached her trust in me? Is that relevant?
only relevant really if you have done things behind her back that you knew she disapproved of and had asked you not to do, but even then in the absence of specific prohibitions on your contract or policy it would be difficult
Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX this answers everything.