Kiss and tell now to become council’s official policy after they decide workers need to report some relationships

KISS and tell is to become official policy for a council’s 700 strong workforce should they strike up a personal relationship with a colleague.

Any employee embarking on such a relationship “must declare it to his or her manager in writing,” says Sam Anthony, head of HR at Fenland District Council.

She will tell the council’s staff committee later this month that a new ‘relationships at work policy’ has been agreed with senior executives, staff and middle manager representatives.

Ms Anthony says that whilst the council does not wish to interfere with any such personal relationships “it is necessary to ensure that all employees behave in an appropriate and professional manner at work”.

The new policy sets out for the first time the types of relationships the council believes it needs to know about.

And it will warn that any worker involved in a close personal relationship with a colleague, contractor, client, customer or supplier “must not allow that relationship to influence his or her conduct whilst at work”.

Ms Anthony says: “Intimate behaviour during work time is not acceptable and this applies during all working time (not flexed off time) both on and off council sites.

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“Any breach of this could be regarded as a disciplinary offence, potentially gross misconduct, leading to disciplinary action.”

The HR manager – who joined Fenland three years ago from the Sainsbury supermarket chain-, says if there is an ongoing relationship between a manager and worker the council can elect to move one or both to another team.

However the policy remains unclear about what could happen if no suitable post can be found for either.

“If there is a situation where it is not possible to transfer at least one of the employees or put in alternative supervision arrangements, the council will consult with all employees and their representatives to put in place alternative arrangements,” says Ms Anthony.

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