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Do you know how to handle an office romance and its impact on your company?

by , 14 May 2014
Do you know how to handle an office romance and its impact on your company? Or did one of your managers just hire his brother? Conflicts like these can affect your business and you could even lose income when other interests are put ahead of your business!

Keep reading to find out what you must do in situations where there's a conflict of interest...

Three situations where conflict of interest could happen

by Taryn Strugnell, Managing Editor, Labour Watch Newsletter

Conflict situation #1: Nepotism 
Nepotism is when family members are appointed to positions within a company. It can cause a conflict of interest if someone in a senior position puts their family's interests ahead of yours. 
When recruiting, make sure you know if the candidate's related to anyone in your company. Think about the possible consequences before you hire them. If you do, don't have the staff member reporting directly to a relative. Ask you interview panel to confirm in writing before interviewing candidates that there are no family links or other conflicts of interest, such as business relationships, with any of the candidates being interviewed.
Keep reading for more situations...


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Situations where conflict of interest could happen, continued...
Conflict situation #2: Relationships at work 
Many people meet their partners at work because it's a comfortable environment to get to know like-minded people. But what happens to the interests of the company when employees form intimate relationships? 
This can cause three possible conflicts of interest. 
a) Confidentiality: If one of the partners in the couple is a senior in the organisation, he'll know employee salaries, future promotion plans and strategic information. He might disclose this information indiscreetly to his partner, who could be a junior staff member.
b) Unfair advantage: The temptation could arise to give an advantage to the partner in the relationship. This includes higher salary increases, promotions and invitations on business trips they normally wouldn't go on. 
c) Break-ups: What happens if the relationship ends? How will this affect your company and what will the consequences be? Encourage employees to reveal their relationship if they start one up. 
Conflict situation #3: Relatives of your employees who work with customers 
You must know if any of your employees have relationships with any of your customers. This is particularly true for government organisations where tenders are awarded to family members, who often can't do the work. You have to tell your customers if one of your employees is related to anyone in their organisation. If possible, don't let that employee work on the tender or project relating to that particular customer. Get employees to declare such interests in writing on an annual basis, or when the employee's situation changes. 
Make sure you have a strict ethical policy or code and make sure all your employees know the boundaries. 


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