Employment law seminar explores dangers of the office romance
Employment law seminar explores dangers of the office romance

THE potential legal implications for office romances was just one of the subjects addressed at the 21st annual employment law seminar organised by Anne Corder Recruitment and Hegarty Solicitors LLP.

The popular breakfast event, held at Holiday Inn West on Tuesday, attracted around 200 delegates from 130 local businesses.

Subjects covered by the two speakers – Hegarty employment law specialists Martin Bloom and Tim Thompson – included the employment law dangers surrounding office romances and discrimination in the work place by association and perception. There were also examples of the latest employment case law.

“Close working relationships can lead to a happier and more productive workplace but there are differing views however on whether such friendships are a good or bad thing,” Martin Bloom told delegates.

A survey in January 2012 found that 71 per cent of employed people between 18 and 29 saw a workplace relationship as having positive effects. However, a further survey in February 2015 found that one in five employees who had dated a colleague at work said it had created tensions with fellow workers.

“Employers may have a different view. Such relationships may distract the work of the employees involved but also their colleagues. There may be reputational damage if employees behave inappropriately at work. A major risk is the possibility of discriminatory treatment occurring during or following the breakdown of any relationship giving potential rise to claims of discrimination and harassment,” added Martin.

“Feedback from this year’s event has already been incredibly positive,” said Anne Corder. “We know from talking to HR partners around the city that Tim and Martin’s employment law expertise is hugely valued – a fact demonstrated by the numbers of delegates attending each year,” she added.