Conflict of Interest
Conflict of interest in HR practise or any other practise is quite common and regardless of how careful you are, at one point, it will arise.
One of the things I have always avoided is working with relatives. I prefer to refer them elsewhere or if we must work together, it has to be in separate locations. Relatives feel entitled, they believe that by being related to you, they share your title with them by extension. They have earned the right to hold their positions, after all, the HRM is their aunt or uncle. At the slightest disagreement with a colleague, your name will come up as defence. They will arrive to work late or not show up at all and fail to communicate simply because the previous day, you were together at a family function and now they assume you saw how exhausted they were after the party.
Thing is that when it comes to work, there needs to be a certain level of professionalism. Showing favoritism to a particular staff simply because your mothers attend the same church or you come from the same village is unprofessional. I have seen it backfire on so many people. Work and relations must be separated at all costs, otherwise, it can ruin you.
In handling any disciplinary matter, one is allowed to remove themselves from a case if they feel there are conflicting matters of interest. For example when working with your spouse or child in the same company, handling their disciplinary cases is tricky because no matter how professional you may be, people will always raise biasness eyebrows. It is therefore recommended that you hand over the matter to an unbiased party.
We are all human beings at the end of the day so at one point, our emotions will get the best of us. We are not made of stone. However, when settling a dispute and you discover that you are too emotionally attached to the case, so much so that your objectivity is compromised, you need to step back.
It does not make you a coward to tell your superior that you wish to hand over a case to another party, especially when you have good reasons, in fact, it only shows your level of professionalism.