‘Bonk and get the boot’ policy thrown out by Fenland councillors

A NEW “bonk and get the boot” policy has been thrown out by councillors who said Fenland had been made a national laughing stock.

And those who drew up the kiss and tell rules for Fenland District Council’s 700-strong workforce have been accused of ‘incredible bad judgement’.

The policy would have forced workers to inform managers in writing if they struck up a personal relationship with a colleague. It had already been agreed with senior executives, staff and middle manager representatives.

But at today’s meeting of the council’s staff committee members voted unanimously against any such policy.

The policy was colourfully branded “bonk and get the boot” by Councillor Jonathan Farmer who said it had come from the “data base of daft ideas”’

Cllr Farmer said: “People are paid good money to use good judgment and this is a case of incredible bad judgement.”

Councillors had been told that such policies were common place in many organisations including at other councils, police forces and in the NHS.

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Proposing that the whole idea should be shelved, Councillor Peter Murphy said it would be difficult to stop declarations of relationships from leaking out.

He said: “ You cannot trust people not to leak it out. This sort of thing happens all over the place. I think it is absolutely and utterly personal if you are going to have an affair with someone.”

He said: “In all the time I have been a member of this council I have never, never walked about and had so many people take the rise out of me. The general public think this is just a laugh.”

Councillor Florence Newell added: “I think what we are doing is treading upon people’s human rights.”

A report before councillors said intimate behaviour during work time was not acceptable and breach could be regarded as a disciplinary offence.

Councillor David Oliver wanted to know if breaching the proposed policy was already covered by the disciplinary procedure but he was told that procedure did not specifically cover relationships in the work place.

Afterwards, Councillor Jan French who is chairman of the council’s overview and scrutiny policy committee, said members had reached the right decision.

She said: “That was the right decision and a sensible one. It has absolutely made Fenland a laughing stock and it was total nonsense.”

Council leader Alan Melton declined to say if the idea had made Fenland look stupid but said: “This is already covered in the contract of employment which says relationships should be declared.”

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