For both employers and employees this presents a welcome relief from their yearly work commitments and a time in which an employer can show appreciation for the year’s hard work to their employees.
What should be remembered, however, is, put simply, the Christmas party is a ‘workplace’, regardless of when and where it is held.
Employers can be liable for the actions of their employees at work-related events, such as seminars, conferences, work functions and Christmas parties.
In the spirit of the season, Everingham Solomons now presents a ‘do’s and don’ts’ for both employees and employers for office Christmas parties.
- Turn up! It is a great opportunity to interact away from the office environment, it builds morale and strengthens relationships.
- For employers, leading up to the Christmas party, remind your staff that it is a workplace event and that you expect their behavior to reflect this. Remind staff of any existing office policies and procedures, particularly in relation to sexual harassment and bullying.
- As alcohol will normally be served at office events, employers should organize travel arrangements, such as a taxi or courtesy bus to ensure their employees get home safely.
- Choose your karaoke song wisely.
- Dust off your worst Christmas themed tie and wear with pride
- Enjoy yourself and get to know your work colleagues in a more relaxed environment.
- Employees and employers should refrain from posting photos of the Christmas party on social media to avoid embarrassing pictures of themselves or colleagues entering the Twitter-sphere!
- Avoid religion and politics. These are hard topics to approach sober, but with a drink or two can lead to an inflamed situation.
- Do not do something that you know you would not be allowed to do in the office. Remember the policies of bullying and harassment apply!
- Do not harass your boss for a pay rise! The Christmas party, and a few drinks in, is not the time to campaign!
- Know your limits. Alcohol will be served and you do not want to be “that guy” or “that girl”, your hard earned respect from colleagues can be eroded quickly.
- For Employers do not dismiss a post-Christmas party complaint, take it seriously and investigate as you would an office incident.
Everingham Solomons wishes everyone a safe and merry Christmas and please don’t drink and drive.
Remember, an incident or dispute arising at or after a Christmas party where alcohol was served is not a valid defence or excuse.
From Terry Robinson and the Directors of Everingham Solomons
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