It’s that time of the year again!

The work Christmas party is often a highlight of the year, where employees can put on their cheesy Christmas jumpers and be rewarded for their hard work a great social and team building event to end the year on.

Its important however for you to remember that – Your Christmas party is an extension of the workplace and although relaxed the same conduct is expected.

Nearly everyone can recall a story where the mixture of alcohol, relaxed inhibitions and the disregard for normal conduct in the workplace has left someone embarrassed the morning after and at risk of disciplinary action.

Below are some tips from us here at Horizon HR Solutions to ensure that your party is a huge success celebrating your workplace and ending the year on a high!

Pre-party Communications:  aside from the venue, date & dress code, employees should be reminded that certain standards of conduct are expected to ensure everyone has a good time.

Employees should be reminded that any inappropriate behaviour may lead to disciplinary action and employers are likely to be deemed liable for the actions of the employees.

Alcohol: if you decide to provide free alcohol, you may not be entitled to hold employees accountable for any resultant inappropriate drunken behaviour.

It is important to ensure non-alcoholic drinks are available to those who don’t drink due to religious reasons; their age or personal preference.

Social Media: It is highly likely that pictures will end up on social media and cases in relation to this have steadily increased over the years. You should ensure that employees know the rules regarding the use of social media in relation to work related events.

Don’t discriminate: Certain religions don’t celebrate Christmas and some employees may not want to attend, so you should ensure that you do not put undue pressure on employees; it is their choice.

Beware the aftermath: Christmas parties often lead to office romances and ‘gossip’ of what happened.  You need to be clear on your stance to office romances.  Harassment can be physical or verbal – an employee may see their light-hearted and good nature comment be misconstrued by another.

Policy perfect: finally, you should ensure that your policies are up to date and that employees are reminded of their terms.

Having said all this, we really don’t support the Christmas party becoming a bland and boring affair.  With the right communication and policy structure in place, employers can provide an enjoyable experience without adding ‘disciplinary investigations’ to the New Year ‘to do’ list.

If you need any support for the above or any other HR requirements,
Horizon HR Solutions would be happy to help!


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