Poll: Should office romances be kept secret?


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The Independent Online

With all the stressful demands of work today, and the increasingly long hours, it's no surprise that romantic indiscretions often arise in the workplace. For some, it's just another perk of the job. Or in some cases, the only perk.

But if you work for the Ipswich borough council, you might want to find relief from the travails of the office elsewhere.

Today it has been reported that the council has ordered staff to disclose any personal relationships they've had with fellow collegues.

And it's not just liaisons of the broom cupboard variety they want you to confess. The new code, introduced in March, covers all bases (so to speak) and even includes romances that "aren't even sexual".

What's more, it's not just members of staff or councillors that count, but also outside contractors and suppliers. What a shame.

According to the council, the new code is there to prevent conflicts of interest arising. "This is really in place to protect our staff against claims that they might show favour to someone they are close to - it is really a matter of common sense," said David Ellesmere, the council's leader.

The code has raised concerned among some legal experts, who say that such probing (by the council, not its employees) could be in breach of our right to privacy under the Human Rights Act.

What do you think? Should you have to disclose any office romances, or should you be allowed to keep them under wraps? Let us know by taking our poll below...