HR & Management

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Ask Timpo: Help! How do I deal with a colleague having an affair?

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A: First of all, don’t be too hasty. Find out the true facts of the matter before you react. There is seldom such a thing as a quick fling, so speak to your financial director and your superstar managing director and pick up the company gossip to see if there is a hidden agenda – is this affair just the tip of an iceberg?

It is always advisable to keep people’s personal lives well away from work, but (especially in a family business) there is always the danger that extramarital problems can blow your company off course.

You probably have a considerable amount of sympathy for the aggrieved financial director but you simply cannot allow this personal problem to get in the way of good business.

It would be extremely foolish to lose a key executive when he may be just about to deliver the deal of the decade.

As far as I am aware, you can’t fire someone for adultery or fornication, so you have no grounds to ask the divisional managing director to leave.

If your financial director really can’t continue to work with his indiscreet colleague then let him be the one to go.

You may need to look for another accountant, but no-one is irreplaceable.

Read John Timpson’s agony uncle columns on the Telegraph website.

Related articles:Ask Timpo: How do I cope with an employment tribunal?Ask Timpo: How do I debrief disappointed staff?Ask Timpo: How do you discipline staff?

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