The do's and don'ts of romance in the workplace

Bosses may object to people having romantic relationships at work, but where do they stand legally?

Lawyer, Anli Bezuidenhout, says the Labour Court ruled in 2016 that two consenting adults have the right to privacy. But she warns that partners have a duty to disclose their relationship to Human Resources (HR).

There is power in disclosure for employees.

Anli Bezuidenhout, Senior associate - Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr

Disclosure could also offer protection if the relationship falls apart.

If you fall in love with your subordinate, make that disclosure and make it to HR. That immediately puts you in a better position should that relationship deteriorate you could say I have been upfront about it.

Anli Bezuidenhout, Senior associate - Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr

Bezuidenhout advises that policies regulating office romances should be addressed during inductions.

Induction is the perfect starting point. If you draft policy, you should keep it short and straightforward. If the policies are too long, they became also become to difficult to enforce.

Anli Bezuidenhout, Senior associate - Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr

Listen to the full discussion below...


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