Fenland under fire for its new relationships at work policy which is yet to be rubber stamped by councillors

WITH the focus elsewhere and rightly so, on balancing the budget, one can only speculate as to the reasons an innocuous new policy document from Fenland District Council crept under the radar.

But escape it did, into the welcoming arms of the Fenland Council Staff Committee who were sent copies of the local authority’s new ‘relationships at work’ policy which they expected to rubber stamp on Monday.

Managers, senior officers and staff representatives were all reported to have sanctioned the policy which, basically, sets out when it is appropriate for an employee to tell his or her manager when they become involved in a relationship with a work colleague.

However the ‘kiss and tell’ policy – reported exclusively by this newspaper on our website last Saturday- didn’t factor in the media’s insatiable appetite for such things.

And so a story, which was first picked up by the Sunday Mirror, later became one of the week’s hottest news items, with readers as far afield as India and Australia finding it among their newspaper headlines.

Big Brother Watch – who look for these sorts of things- gleefully announced that “what people do in their own time is up to them.”

Meanwhile the TUC took a break from campaigning against Coalition Government cuts, to describe it as an “Orwellian tract”.

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Not bad for a policy that on a normal Monday would have been nodded through by councillors before they retired for tea.

We suspect this Monday will be different once Fenland realise that the TUC’s view that “to declare your feelings via the HR department is hardly the most romantic way to make a move” might just accord with what the rest of us think.

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