Christmas parties. Fun event or a nightmare for employers?
Posted on 29th November 2019 at 11:58
The annual work Christmas party is always a chance to eat, drink, be merry, but whilst most staff do behave appropriately a small minority don’t!
It is fine for employees to get dressed up and let their hair down for a night and it is nice to see people relaxing and bonding over a glass of plonk.
But sometimes the Christmas spirit when mixed with too much alcohol and courage can get out of hand and can result in behaviour that some people find intrusive and overfamiliar or just outright offensive and intrusive.
If things do get out of hand, our friends ‘gross misconduct’ and ‘disciplinary action’ can make two pretty unwelcome party guests.
Do's and Don’ts for the Christmas party
• Make sure you know your obligations as the Employer as you will still be on the hook for the actions of your employees.
• Even Parties that take place outside office hours still constitute “work”, so for example, if an act that constitutes sexual harassment is committed at an office party, the employer would still be held responsible by a Tribunal.
• Keep an eye on what’s going on. So if you’re having a work Christmas party in your own office, and there is alcohol flowing please remember that you will still be responsible for your guests’ consumption and what they do during and after the event.
• Also make sure there is lots of non-alcoholic drink available. It’s also a good idea to put on food.
• Brief your staff before hand on what is and what is not acceptable behaviour. People can still have a good time and behave appropriately.
• Don’t encourage your staff to drink excessively. People can still have fun and not drink to excess.
Staff parties should be fun and memorable and can be used for staff to bond and get to know one another. So please bear in mind the points above before putting on your suit or posh frock and dancing into the night.
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Tagged as: Employment Law
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