UNIVERSITY OF BEDFORDSHIRE
Code of Conduct on Personal / Consensual Relationships at Work
Scope and purpose of the policy
The policy covers al staff of the University of Bedfordshire. It is intended to provide
guidance in areas where personal relationships overlap with working relationships and to
ensure that individual members of staff do not commit acts of impropriety, bias, abuse of
authority or conflict of interest and do not lay themselves open to al egations that they
have done so.
It is not the University’s normal policy to al ow close relatives (e.g. mother, father, brother,
sister, husband, wife, son or daughter, mother-in-law, father-in-law, daughter-in-law, son-
in-law) to work in the same function or department. It is also recognised that in a working
environment relationships may develop between staff.
Relationships between members of staff
Although the existence of a personal relationship between members of staff does not in
itself constitute a bar to the employment or promotion of either party, staff should declare
to their line manager any personal relationships which may give rise to a real or perceived
conflict of interest, trust or breach of confidentiality.
Where a personal relationship exists or develops between members of staff who are in a
line management or supervisory relationship at work, they must not be involved in
recruitment, selection, appraisal, promotion or in any other management activity or
process involving the other party. Additional y, staff in a personal relationship should not
work together in any circumstance whereby a conflict of interest, breach of confidentiality
or unfair advantage may be perceived to be gained from the overlap of a personal and
professional relationship. In any such circumstances, the relationship must be declared in
confidence to the head of department. The manager to whom the information is disclosed
wil then make alternative management arrangements and confirm them in writing to the
individuals concerned. If it is considered unavoidable to inform other members of staff
about the relationship in order to explain a change in management arrangements, this wil
be discussed with the individuals concerned before it is disclosed.
Where it is believed that such relationships may have a detrimental effect on the effective
management of the university, or where it is believed there is an identifiable security risk,
the university may decide to transfer one of the employees into another area of the
Any such decision would seek to effect a transfer that provided a similar role and grade.
However, should such a transfer not be possible, compensation would be paid to the
employee affected under the terms provided by the university severance schemes.
Declaration of personal relationships where they overlap with professional roles
Staff who are uncertain about whether they should take action regarding a personal
relationship are invited to seek guidance in confidence from the Director of Human
Resources, a senior member of the Human Resources department or their trade union
A case whereby any personal relationship as defined within this code is not declared and
results in an unfair advantage or disadvantage to either of the parties to the relationship
wil be considered a serious matter and may lead to disciplinary action.
While not a bar to employment within the organisation, applicants for employment wil be
asked to declare any personal relationship with existing members of staff.