In theory, your staff are just there to work. During office hours, the only thing they should be doing, within reason, is whatever you pay them to do.

In practice, your staff probably spend a reasonable amount of time doing other things. Checking their Facebook page, messaging their friends, going outside for a cigarette, etc.

As an employer, you’re allowed to have a policy that states how much time your staff are allowed to spend on personal matters at work, but it has to be fair and reasonable.

Whilst what is fair and reasonable will vary from business to business, some things are obvious. For example, you would ban them from doing anything illegal, such as driving whilst under the influence of drink, and obviously things like sex during office hours is prohibited, unless of course you are running a brothel (but that has complications of it’s own!)

It would also be obvious to say they can’t take drugs whilst they are working, but what about legal highs? Can you ban them from using these during their working day (even on their lunch break) or being under the influence of them when they come to work? If they’ve not done anything illegal, can you dismiss them for being high if they’ve not broken the law?

Smaller businesses tend to make things up as they go along, but as you grow, it becomes more important to have set rules and boundaries. It’s hard to take action against someone who didn’t appreciate they were doing anything wrong, and “wrong” is so subjective. So having a good fair policy in place, that everyone knows about, is the safest way to protect yourself from a claim and protect your business from the effects of bad behaviour.

If you’d like to know more about sex, drugs and bad behaviour, then drop me a line and we’ll find a time to share our stories.

If you’d like to know more about restricting the amount of sex, drugs and bad behaviour in your office, then let me know and I’ll introduce you to one of my wonderful colleagues who are experts on the subject!

Kleyman & Co Solicitors. The full service law firm. No strangers to bad behaviour!