How to manage personal relationships within the workplace

Defining personal relationships in the workplace can be difficult as most would define it as a romantic relationship, but it could include family or friends and commercial partners.

Developing policies for this sensitive topic can help employees understand what’s expected of them and protect employers.

So, when considering a company policy, it’s worth considering bringing in a legal expert who can cover all the necessary areas to avoid potential legal action.

How should a policy be implemented?

It should strike a balance between respecting the private life of employees and the employer’s right to protect its business interests.

A policy introduced by owners or stakeholders should define:

When agreed, the policy should include:

Relationships between those at a similar level are generally acceptable, but managers having relationships with non-managers is more problematic and can lead to conflicts and accusations of favouritism.

So, setting out a policy can help by:

Certain areas must be monitored strictly, including not allowing a personal relationship with a colleague to influence their conduct at work or lead to a conflict of interest.

Line managers can be given guidelines and training on managing personal relationships at work.

For help and advice on dealing with relationships in the workplace and related employment matters, contact our expert team.

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