Stuart Gentle Publisher at Onrec

Office romance: James Reed, Chairman of REED recruitment, reacts to McDonald's firing Steve Easterbrook

Let’s face it, a lot of people meet at work. They might even fall in love. At REED we’ve had plenty of relationships blossom in the past and have also seen plenty of REED babies born!

We understand personal relationships can exist or develop between colleagues at all levels of the business. While they can often be harmless, in some circumstances they can create a damaging conflict of interest within a business.

As McDonald’s has shown, dating a colleague can have severe consequences both for the individual and the business itself – McDonald’s experienced a 7.5% knock to its share price after the news of Easterbrook broke. Businesses need to take the question of workplace relationships seriously, particularly at such a senior level.

Where such relationships exist, at REED we have a policy that requires people – where appropriate - to declare these to a senior manager. Having a clear policy makes good business sense and helps inform existing and new people from the outset. It’s important for businesses to have this framework in place to protect the rights of everyone and to maintain the highest levels of professionalism.

Ultimately, when it comes to office romances, businesses must strike a balance between fairness and professionalism by using a combination of company policy and personal judgement.”

REED is a global recruitment company, with more than 3,500 employees working in 180 locations around the world. Every year it receives 50 million job applications, making James an expert in the field of workplace relationships.