Yes – as long as you comply with the rules and are sensible about it. Most organisations have rules about relationships in the workplace. These rules are aimed at maintaining professionalism and teamwork, and prevent abuses. For example, a manager cannot use their position to attempt to form a relationship with a subordinate because there is a power imbalance and a real risk of abuse. The NZDF has rules against fraternisation, meaning that you should not engage in intimate conduct with another service person in uniform, in a defence area, or with a subordinate when you are in the same chain of command. These rules are especially strict in a training environment.
However, in any workplace relationships can form. If you find yourself in a position where you think you might start dating someone you work with, take things out of the workplace. If there is any power imbalance, be very careful that there is no suggestion that this is a factor in the relationship. Be transparent with your manager, let them know if a relationship has formed with someone you work with.
If you are uncomfortable with attention you are receiving from someone you work with, that is not ok. Talk to your manager or someone you trust. Most of the time people take the hint and can be professional, but when that does not happen your employer has an obligation to prevent you from being harassed.
Frontline Law is a team of talented lawyers, most of whom have previously served in the Armed Forces, New Zealand Police, and other uniformed organisations.
The first step in getting support is to talk with a lawyer from Frontline Law about your situation and see what options we can offer you. Contact Frontline Law for a free initial consultation.