A third of workers in the South-East said that being in a relationship with someone has damaged their career, according to a new study.
And more than half of British workers admit to have had a relationship with a colleague, according to the research commissioned by employment law experts Slater and Gordon.
Over 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 accounted for nearly 44 per cent of these juniors, revealing sexist attitudes that are negatively impacting women’s career progression.
Overall, however, workplace romance takes a toll on both the parties involved with over half (56 per cent) of those involved in a romantic relationship with a colleague saying there was gossip about them, 61 per cent admitting the romance made things more difficult and nearly 63 per cent saying they were being judged after rumours of the romance spread around the office.
Despite the damaging impact of workplace romances, over 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.
Senior employment lawyer, Harriet Bowtell, of Slater and Gordon shares with us the potential risks of workplace romance and her top three tips on protecting your career while the emotions are running high.
35% said that being in a relationship with someone that they worked with damaged their career.
34% said that their office romance ended badly.
36% said that they didn’t know if there was anything in their contract to forbid an office relationship.
68% believe that women are judged more harshly than men for having a relationship at work.
28% said that their colleagues did not know about the relationship.