An independent federal politician could ask parliament to follow the US ban ON sexual relationships between MPs and staff members, saying there should be a conversation about workplace liaisons.
But senior MPs from major parties say such a formal ban seems unnecessary.
The independent member for Indi, Cathy McGowan, says good workplace practices include clear expectations about behaviour.
"There is a belief the parliament is behind community expectations and corporate practice," she said in a statement on Thursday.
"There are examples set by the process undertaken by the United States Congress and in the Australian corporate sector, including the action of the AFL in July last year regarding relationships in the workplace."
The issue of relationships between politicians and staffers has become the subject of debate in Australian political circles after News Corp papers published photos of Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce's pregnant partner, who used to work in his office.
Earlier this week, the US House of Representatives passed a resolution banning members from engaging in sexual relationships with their staff.
The move was part of a package of legislation aimed at improving the reporting of sexual harassment, but a resolution is effectively a rule of the chamber and has no legal force.
Ms McGowan said she was happy to begin the conversation before potentially tabling a similar motion for Australia's parliament.
Shadow attorney-general Mark Dreyfus says legislating about such matters is fraught with difficulty.
"Sex in the office is always going to present problems, but whether we need to legislate, that's quite another question," he told ABC radio on Thursday.
"People's private lives are complicated ... and I think that we should think long and hard before we pass a law that seeks to criminalise particular sexual relations between anyone in any part of society."
However, the Labor frontbencher thinks there should be codes of conduct governing such matters, saying "people have got to behave themselves".
Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said it would be difficult to come up with laws where there was such crossover into people's personal lives.
"Government has no business interfering in people's personal lives," she told reporters.
"We wouldn't want to cross the line so that the moral police are able to dictate what happens between consenting adults."
And Attorney-General Christian Porter said it would be "a very unwieldy law".