Employers should ensure that they have a clear policy on personal relationships at work

An article in the Telegraph (26.7.2014) states that the first female commander of a major Royal Navy warship has been sent home after claims of an affair with a crewmate. Commander Sarah West, 42, took charge of the frigate HMS Portland in May 2012, but is now on leave while officials decide whether she has broken strict rules on relationships.

Under the Armed Forces' Code of Social Conduct, personal relationships between servicemen and women are allowed in the military as long as they do not undermine "trust and cohesion" or damage "operational effectiveness". Possible punishments for not meeting the high standards set out include a formal warning and reassignment. A particularly serious breach of the code could result in dismissal.

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