Keeping it Professional at The Christmas Party!
9th December 2017
As we hit December, it really ’tis the season to be jolly’, and many employers indulge in the festive season with an annual tradition . . . the office Christmas party.
It’s the perfect opportunity for employers to thank their teams for their hard work the previous year, as well as a great opportunity to bond, share a drink and relax into the festive season. However, with a glass quickly turning into several, the party can be a cause for concern and can create consequences extending far beyond the ‘next-day’ hangover.
With many Christmas Parties underway, here are some tips to help avoid any ‘management headaches’ after the event!
- Consider any work function as an extension of the office, just at another location. The employer’s obligations are exactly the same as they are at the work place. Responsibility is for how employees behave at work but not when they are travelling home.
- Remind all employees that as this is a company party, they are expected to behave in an appropriate manner and that the company has authority to deal with any issues that occur at that party. Set out that any unacceptable behaviour will be subject to the company disciplinary procedure in the same way as if they occurred in the workplace during normal working hours.
- Encourage responsible drinking. Consider allowing unlimited soft drinks to all employees but limit any free alcohol to a reasonable level.
- A duty of care approach to your employees is desirable, and this can extend to making sure your team can get home safely. Whilst paid taxis home always goes down well, this can be costly. Arranging a minibus for transport or at the very least providing taxi numbers and encouraging them to use them are also advisable options.
- This may also be a good time for employers to revisit policies and procedures to ensure that the business is covered. Situations such as a team member posting an unauthorised photograph on social media following a work’s Christmas party can be another possible pitfall, so employers may want to direct employees to their social media policy.Whilst it’s hard to ‘police’ employees over-indulging, educating and clearly communication company expectations, limiting the amount of alcohol, providing non-alcoholic options and supplying food can all help potentially to minimise the risk of employee misconduct.
Wishing you a great Festive Season, if you require advice in this area or any matter, please get in touch with our expert team on +44 (0)78 9183 9136.