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Kiss and tell policies

Posted on 21st May 2014
HR practice

It's not that common for news local to Suffolk to make headlines nationally. It's even less common that one of our own has some involvement.

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Adrian Green Adrian
Green
Senior Employment Law Solicitor Telephone: 01473 694403

there is a balance to be struck between the right to privacy of employees and the need for employer's to ensure that there are no potential conflicts of interest

Our own Julie Temple has been making headlines over the last day or so. Not strictly true but her name has appeared in The Ipswich Star, The Times, The Independent, The Telegraph and The Mirror. She has also appeared on Mark Murphy's BBC Radio Suffolk Show (around 3 hours 10 minutes in and after the Bee Gees).  

The press interest concerns Ipswich Borough Council's 'kiss and tell' policy. The Council's employees are understandably concerned about the fact that they may be required to disclose personal relationships that they consider private and how this breaches their rights to privacy and family life.  

Julie however points out that there is a balance to be struck between the right to privacy of employees and the need for employer's to ensure that there are no potential conflicts of interest. Julie also highlights, during her interview with Mark Murphy on BBC Radio Suffolk, that the right to privacy is a right that individuals can only enforce against public bodies such as Ipswich Borough Council. She emphasises that this does not mean private businesses who have similar policies do not need to worry. The Equality Act 2010 could also give employees rights if the employer oversteps the mark and applies a policy which has potential to discriminate against individuals on the basis of marital status, sex or perhaps sexual orientation.

Copies of some of the articles can be accessed here.

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