Tis the season to be jolly and this can only mean one thing – tis also the season of the famous office Christmas party! A time when bosses loosen purse strings and staff let their hair down and, love it or loathe it, the annual Christmas party will happen.
So, we’ve got a few tips to help you get through it.
Not all staff will want to attend the Christmas party as Christmas is a Christian holiday – so do not pressure people to attend if they don’t want to go. If the Christmas party is out of work hours some people may not want to spend their free time with their co-workers.
Mix it up
Mixing people up from different departments can be good for team building.
Eat before you drink
If you start your Christmas party with free-flowing drink prior to a meal, make sure people have something to nibble, as we all know the outcomes of drinking on an empty stomach.
An acceptable use policy for social media is strongly advised. Prior to the Christmas party it would be wise to remind employees that videos or photos that may cause embarrassment or bring bad publicity to the business, will not be tolerated.
Recent case law tells us that all work-related event means that the employer can be liable for the actions of its staff. So, make sure clear expectations have been set and relevant policies have been re-issued. The welfare of under 18’s and other vulnerable persons need to be given greater considered!
Heavy or unwieldy gifts are hard to get home, easily broken and can be unwanted. You’d be better off giving money or vouchers. If you decide to give a gift put thought into how your colleagues/employees will get their gifts home.
If a member of staff has clearly drunk too much at the office Christmas party and plans to drive home, the employer needs to take responsibility for this and prevent them driving. Consider ending the party before public transport stops running; or provide the phone numbers for local taxi companies and encourage staff to use them. An email reminding staff to plan their journey home, providing taxi numbers and train times can help.
Working the next day
If the party is mid-week and people are expected in work the next day, provide plenty of non-alcoholic drinks and food. Before the party, ensure that all staff know that disciplinary action could be taken if they fail to turn up for work because of over-indulging.
We’re here to pick up the pieces
Should it all end in tears, remember that THSP’s employment law team are ready to listen and help you with the aftermath.
That being said, we sincerely hope that all will go well for your events and wish you a very enjoyable festive season.