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Avoiding a Christmas Catastrophe

Christmas is coming, so the party season is nearly upon us. As an employer you want everyone to have a great time at the Christmas party.

Be aware that as an employer you are responsible for the behaviour of your employees, so you should set clear guidelines which must be adhered to, so everyone has a good time.

Clearly state that drunken and/or disorderly behaviour, illegal drug taking, verbal/physical abuse, sexual harassment or discrimination of any kind is strictly prohibited and is likely to result in disciplinary action.

An employment tribunal held that it was reasonable for an employer to dismiss an employee for punching a colleague in the face, during the walk home from the Christmas party.

The employee in question argued that this was nothing to do with work as it happened outside the workplace. The tribunal, however, held that as the incident followed the Christmas party, it was sufficiently connected to work. Therefore, it was the party that created the situation that resulted in the incident.

As for a Christmas party romance, a survey once found that, whilst 80% of women would laugh off a pass made by a male co-worker, boss or client, 13% would lodge a complaint.

Make sure that your bullying and harassment, equal opportunities, grievance, disciplinary and social media polices are up to date and that employees have been reminded of them.

It is also good practice to have a “Work related social events policy” in place, which states what type of behaviour is not acceptable. You are not being a kill joy, you are protecting your business from a potential claim, that will not only be costly, but will harm your reputation.

For further information contact Nichola Coulthard at Coulthard Human Resources 07946 541606

Coulthard Human Resources helping businesses become great employers

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