With Halloween and bonfire night firmly behind us and only two weeks to go until Christmas, many employers are turning their attention to the long standing tradition of the Company’s Christmas party.

Clearly, many employers will want to thank their team for the hard work and achievements throughout the year. But with spirits running high, the aftermath of the Christmas party can give employers a hangover that lasts long into the next year.

This guide provides some practical considerations.

1. Communicate your expectations prior to the event

This can include details about the venue, timings, dress code, bar arrangements and menu choices. It should also remind employees of conduct matters, including the dangers of excess alcohol consumption, the importance of not drinking and driving and behaviours that could be viewed as harassment.

2. Be aware of the dangers of a ‘free bar’

Although this will undoubtedly be welcomed by the majority of employees and will be a morale booster, there is case law of employees who were abusive and violent and were found to have been unfairly dismissed. The unlimited free bar provided by the employer was a key determining factor.

3.  Be aware of your responsibilities

In most cases the employer will be liable for functions or events that occur ‘in the course of employment’ such as the Christmas party. Therefore, any allegations of misconduct and/or harassment should be investigated in accordance with the disciplinary procedure and appropriate action taken.

Taking time to communicate expectations prior to the party and being aware of your responsibilities should mitigate against a post party hangover and ensure that your Christmas Party is enjoyed by all.

For more information, contact Ramshaw HR @https://ramshawhr.com/contact-us/

By Bruce Ramshaw

Principal Consultant


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