London: A council in Britain has told its workers that they should apply in writing if they want to conduct a relationship with a colleague from the same office.
Fenland District Council proposed a policy under which “intimate behaviour during work time” could be classed as gross misconduct and lead to disciplinary action.
The proposal also suggested that workers should declare any “close personal relationship” to their manager “in writing”, if the new rules get the green light.
And that once personnel officials are informed, “the information should be declared...recorded on the personal files of both employees”.
The ‘Draft People Policy: Relationships at Work’ plan was drawn up by Sam Anthony, the council’s head of human resources and organisational development.
Councillors are due to discuss the proposal at a meeting later this month, but it has not been met with favour by pressure group Big Brother Watch.
“Quite apart from the fact it’s wrong for Fenland District Council to build up this kind of database, what people do in their own time is up to them,” the Daily Mail quoted campaign director Daniel Hamilton as saying.
“If people are good at their jobs, they should be left alone - regardless of who they share their bed with at the end of the day,” he stated.
Even the TUC has slammed the proposal, with its head of employment rights, Sarah Veale, saying workers should not feel compelled to say anything about an office relationship.
“It’s quite common for relationships to start in the office but having to declare your feelings via the HR department is hardly the most romantic way to make a move,” she added.