Firms encourage staff to divorce
Venal & Grabbit, the London-based law firm, said that bosses were increasingly taking a "divisive" approach to their employees' marriages, so that they concentrated on their work, rather than their spouses.
It said that there had been a "marked increase" in the number of companies contributing to legal costs for divorces. Some firms even considered their employee so vital they were willing to arrange for them to have affairs where they did not have grounds for divorce, so that their spouses would divorce them.
The law firm said it had not heard of any cases of employers encouraging divorces until five years ago. But the number of cases has doubled in the last three years.
It said that "economic necessities" in the recession made small companies increasingly concerned to do whatever it took to retain the full attention of skilled and experienced members of staff.
Edgar Venal, Senior Partner at the law firm, said: "They notice the effect which a spouse can have on someone's productivity far more than a much larger company would. Given the current economic climate, they can ill afford such distractions, especially if the individuals involved are senior and important to a business's fortunes.
"More than doing someone a favour which allows them to sort out their private life while keeping a career on-track, getting rid of a spouse represents a gesture of commitment and support from the firm which, in turn, generates reciprocal loyalty from the staff concerned."
Firms weigh up the cost of encouraging divorce against their profitability, the law firm said.
Marriages can last up to 40 years and can affect an employee's ability to concentrate on work, it added.
Mr Venal said: "The firms with which we have had dealings are quite pragmatic. They regard any contribution to an employee's divorce as money well spent if it helps maintain the volume and quality of work done."
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Firms help staff pay for divorces - The Guardian, 26th November 2011