Wednesday, 25 May 2011

The OTHER super-injunction and relationships at work

I know that this week all anybody can think of when I mention the word 'super-injunction' is Ryan Giggs, but last week I think a more interesting case was revealed in the House of Commons.

John Hemming, the MP who revealed Ryan Giggs' identity, a week prior revealed that Sir Fred Goodwin had taken out a super-injunction to conceal the fact that he had had an affair with a colleague. Now, in Sir Fred's case, it's likely that the newspapers would have claimed that the affair took Sir Fred's mind off the job, resulting in the downfall of the bank, which the taxpayer spent however many billions propping up. Now, I personally doubt if the downfall of RBS is entirely due to one or two people having an affair. If it is, there are serious problems with the bank's regulatory processes.

But it does highlight why some companies forbid relationships at work. Too much scope for conflict of interest, cover-up, nepotism, or at the very least for others to perceive that they are being disadvantaged (or that somebody else is being advantaged) by the relationship.

Plus of course there's the disastrous potential for two people having to work together once the relationship has broken down. Oooh, uncomfortable.

Has anyone ever known a relationship that's started at work to work long-term? And did it work only because those involved stopped working directly with each other?

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