How to manage intimate relationships between your staff at work

by | Feb 13, 2023 | HR Resources

With Valentine’s Day around the corner, your office may be full of love and romance. Office relationships are bound to raise their heads.

Set Clear Policies 

The first step is to establish clear policies about intimate relationships in the workplace. It’s important that all employees are aware of these policies and are held accountable for following them. Employees should understand what is considered inappropriate behaviour and how they can report any violations of policy. This will help ensure that everyone is held accountable for their actions, regardless of whether they are involved in an intimate relationship or not.  

Be Vigilant

It’s also important to be vigilant when it comes to managing intimate relationships in the workplace. If there is evidence of favouritism or any other offences related to an intimate relationship, it should be addressed immediately with both parties involved. This will help ensure that everyone is treated fairly and that no one is taking advantage of their position due to an existing personal relationship.  

What to consider when making a ‘Relationships at Work’ Policy?

The first consideration for the Company is ‘do we allow workplace relationships?’ Some Companies prefer for relationships at work to not cross the boundary for fear of the fall-out if it all goes wrong. However, if in the name of love, it’s a ‘yes’, then proceed to the next point;

When crafting a relationship at-work policy, there are several important points to consider.

  1. The policy should define and list parameters for appropriate behaviour in a workplace environment. This is especially important if employees are going to be engaging in romantic relationships, as it can help ensure that workplace conduct is not compromised by such.
  2. The policy should also clearly identify protocols on how conflicts of interest will be addressed to ensure that no one party has any sort of unfair advantage over the other in their working relationship with colleagues and superiors. 
  3. If marriage or partnership between coworkers occurs, provisions regarding criteria for job transfers they may require must be laid out. It’s important to create a workspace culture where employees feel safe and protected while performing their duties. 
What to do when co-workers start dating?

While this may be an exciting time for them, it can also present some challenges in the workplace.
It’s important for managers to discuss work policies with their employees as well as define how to handle any conflict of interest or power dynamics when two people in the same department start dating. It’s important to create a safe space for these employees to talk freely and honestly about their situation. This will help avoid any potential harassment issues or falling out.
However, it is always up to individual couples to exercise discretion and respect when engaging in any romantic relationship at work.

How to help them when they break up?

Look, we all know how awful breakups are. You no longer talk to each other, you have a sick feeling when you see or think about them, or you still pine after them in hopes you can rekindle the love. In a work environment, these feelings can make it very difficult to work productively together. Not only between the two people involved but also the whole office, it will sadly be the latest ‘office gossip’!

As a manager, you can help mediate to find the best possible solutions for these Co-Workers to work efficiently still. It might be you can help them avoid seeing each other by working on different projects. Or you might have to sit them down and ask them to resolve any conflicts to be able to move on. 

Managing intimate relationships in the workplace can be tricky but it doesn’t have to be overwhelming or intimidating if you have a plan in place for dealing with such situations promptly and effectively when they arise. By setting clear policies, providing support, and being vigilant about any potential issues, you can ensure that your staff maintains a professional atmosphere while still feeling comfortable and supported at work. With these tips, you can successfully manage any intimate relationships without compromising your team’s morale or productivity!

How can Spire HR help

Spire HR can help you create a ‘Relationships at Work’ policy. We want to help you get the best out of your people; therefore, we can provide training on how to deal with these situations, how your Managers should react, and steps they need to take.

As we had recently come up against some difficult staffing issues which we had not experienced before, Ellen Parkin at Spire HR was recommended to us by one of our business partners to guide and assist us with the complex HR legalities we needed to adhere to.

Ellen was very efficient and professional and gave us instant confidence that she would be able to competently provide the help we needed. Ellen was readily accessible via email or telephone throughout the whole process and gave us the vital lifeline we needed during a very emotive and stressful time. Spire HR realised that as an SME, we had to balance the commercial viability for HR consultancy with the expertise and guidance we needed and Ellen was open and honest from the outset, providing a cost-effective and professional service. I would therefore have no hesitation in recommending Spire HR to anyone.


We are too small to justify a full-time HR employee; yet we cannot afford to ‘get it wrong’ The excellent service offered by Spire HR Solutions is the perfect solution for us


AGP have used Spire HR Solutions Limited for numerous matters relating to HR issues for both ourselves and clients of the practice. I have always found them to be extremely knowledgeable and helpful and to be very responsive to our needs.

Spire is now the practice’s first point of contact for any HR issues we encounter and I would certainly recommend them to anyone in need of assistance with any HR matters.


Ellen has helped streamline procedures and provide greater controls through her extensive knowledge and professional dedication, which has enabled me to concentrate on my main objective, growing the business.

I would say ‘key’ to her service is the confidence she provides with the HR guidance, I know without doubt that when dealing with my employees I follow the correct procedure and staff feel confident that they have the right HR support. The guidance on our bonus structure and appraisal scheme is one of many examples in which Ellen’s guidance has been invaluable.

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