More than half of British workers admit to having a relationship with a colleague and nearly 70 per cent confess the office romance had a negative impact on their career, according to a new research study commissioned by employment law experts Slater and Gordon.
A third of these relationships were found to have ended on a bad note with 17 per cent of working Brits admitting to have lost their jobs as a result. The most troubling finding, however is that in a relationship between two employees, the more junior and female staff members were found to be more negatively impacted.
One in five of those who lost their jobs as a direct result of their workplace romance were found to be more junior members of the staff and women account for nearly 44 per cent of these juniors revealing the deeply entrenched sexist attitudes that are negatively impacting women’s career progression.
Overall, however workplace romance takes a toll on both the parties involved with half (56 per cent) of those involved in a romantic relationship with a colleague saying there was gossip about them, 61 per cent admit the romance made things more difficult and nearly 63 per cent say they were being judged after rumours of the romance spread around the office.
Despite the damaging impact of workplace romances, more than three quarters of people (77 per cent) confess that they do not consult with their HR before or after they begin their office flings with nearly 32 per cent even unaware if their employment contract forbids relationship with a colleague.
In this video, senior employment lawyer Harriet Bowtell, of Slater and Gordon shares the potential risks of workplace romance, and her top three tips on protecting your career while the emotions are running high.