Politics In The Workplace - How Far Should It Go?

Submitted by Mark on 08th May 2017

Politics In The Workplace; HR; disciplinary procedures; politically motivated harassment; inclusive workplace

With the government recently announcing an election for 8th June, politics is something that is being discussed up and down the country. 

It can often be a sensitive subject, fraught with emotion and strong opinions, so it makes sense to know exactly how you can and should deal with any issues that might arise.

Firstly, you do have the right to ban political campaigning in the workplace.   If someone is using work time to drum up interest for their party, or print off marketing materials for the election, then you would have the right to deal with this using your disciplinary procedures. 

Realistically, it’s not possible to ban any talk of politics, and it wouldn’t be a wise move.  Having staff who are interested and engaged with current affairs can have many benefits and it’s good to encourage staff to discuss freely their opinions in a positive way.

When it comes to what your staff do outside of working hours, it’s largely none of your business. Unless, of course, their behaviour brings your company into disrepute. 

It’s also worth noting that if you become aware of the risk of politically motivated harassment, take a no-nonsense approach and make sure that you’re creating a positive and inclusive workplace. 

If you’re worried about issues that might arise as we approach the election, then it may be worthwhile considering the creation of a policy that tackles political activity at work. The policy could potentially ban the expression of political views to clients and suppliers, as well as displaying political symbols. 

If you would like to discuss this in more detail, please get in touch by completing the Contact Form or calling us on 01604 763494 to arrange your no-obligation discussion.