Office Christmas Parties and Misconduct


Your Christmas Party is normally pretty lively and good fun, but as an Employer what should you consider before so there are no problems? (yawn!).

According to a recent survey by Expert-HR two-thirds of Employers don’t have a policy in place setting out the standards of acceptable behaviour for their workers at the Christmas Party. This could bring problems for two reasons:

Employers can be held liable for harm (under health and safety laws) or harassment caused to their employees or to third parties, by negligent acts of their Employees (including events outside of normal working hours).

And you could fall foul of religious and possibly sexual discrimination laws.

Since October 2010 the Equality Act continues to give protection from sexual harassment but now also gives protection to harassment on the basis of disability, age, gender reassignment, race/religion or belief and sexual orientation. And it now includes harassment by 3rd parties.

Minimise the risks to your business by implementing the following simple steps:

Designate a Manager to stay alcohol-free so they can keep an eye out for any unacceptable or potentially dangerous behaviour.

Limit the free bar!

Consider how your staff will get home safely, if you can.

Consider the needs of all of your staff – will mothers be able to arrange child-care at the time of your party; will members of some faiths be able to make the day of your party; ensure there is food to meet all employees’ religious and cultural requirements; ensure there are non-alcoholic drinks available; consider if you need to provide any physical assistance for any disabled staff.

Before the party remind your staff of behaviour that is not acceptable and how this will be dealt with (in the least kill-joy way possible!). Remind them that you expect them to come into work on time the next day!

And have fun!
Talk to The HR Kiosk for more help!

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