Dating contracts in the work place

The starting point is that an employer will normally be held to be vicariously liable for its employees’ actions while in the workplace and at work place events (Christmas parties, client dinners and drinks…).

This was illustrated most clearly by an unusual and questionable decision by the Federal Court of Australia which held that an employer was responsible for a work place injury which occurred while the employee was having sex with her partner in a hotel room while on a business trip.

The other big risk is an indirect discrimination claim.

A single incident, if sufficiently serious, can amount to harassment.

You can see from this definition how easily an employer could become liable for the fallout from a relationship between two employees which has gone wrong, as it depends on the subjective opinion of the employee concerned.

A love contract is a document that two employees in a relationship sign to confirm that they have not been coerced into the relationship with a view to preventing sexual harassment claims later down the line.

For all those 50 Shades readers out there, this is not what you think.

‘Love contracts’ and policies on romantic relationships in the workplace however are, like the book, becoming more prolific and mainstream.


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