A furtive kiss at the staff Christmas party may have to be reported to a line manager, according to new council rules.
Ipswich Borough Council has told employees that short-term relationships of a “sexual” or even simply “romantic” nature with colleagues should be declared in order to prevent a conflict of interest in the workplace.
This is part of a broader rule that says line managers should be informed about “close personal relationships” among staff, according to The Daily Telegraph.
Similar rules have been adopted by other employers but Ipswich appears to have gone further by including fleeting affairs.
Julie Temple, an employment lawyer with the firm Quantrills, said the code of conduct could ultimately be found to be against the law.
“It is almost certain that someone, somewhere will challenge a code like this under human rights legislation,” she said.
Staff who develop a relationship while at work could have to be moved to a different job as a result.
A spokesman for Ipswich council said: “The code would be applied where two employees who work for the council are in a close relationship and one is responsible for managing the other or could be involved in selection for promotion or redundancy.”