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Working relationships

Being a responsible employer can often come down to the challenging world of relationships. When your employee is going through a divorce or family problem, what do you need to be aware of?

Divorce is second only to the death of a spouse or child, when it comes to one of life’s most stressful events. It’s an emotional rollercoaster that will almost certainly impact on an employees working life, both before, during and after the actual divorce takes place.

Whilst its rarely an employer’s place to ‘get involved’ on a personal level, consideration needs to be paid to the impact that this stress is likely to have on their ability to concentrate and manage work-pressure, their productivity and any time off needed to attend appointments, court hearings and due to illness.

In many cases employees are simply too embarrassed or afraid to ask employers for help and flexibility. When so much is changing in their lives already, they resist being seen to be ‘rocking the boat’ still further.

Our advice to employers is to be sensitive to employee needs during this difficult time, as well as considering what is best for your business. Support can come in a number of ways and it could simply be that you provide guidance on places to find further support, expertise or advice. If you have concerns about an employee in this situation, you may wish to seek your own advice as to Employment Law, or point them in the direction of a local Family Law specialist.

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