"The Company Christmas Do" - Nightmare or Success?

Rita Finch - Thursday, December 17, 2015

The Christmas season will soon be upon us so, have you sorted your Christmas party yet?

As an employer, do you dread it or or do you see it as an opportunity to thank your staff for all their hard work throughout the year?

Whatever your reasons or feelings for having a Christmas party, it will be much more enjoyable knowing that you have done all you can to cover yourself from any legal or HR issues which may arise from the festivities!

It's helpful to know the pitfalls before you can put safeguards in place so here are some common problems encountered:

An employer gets drunk and decides  he/she will drive home

As an employer, you have a legal responsibility of care towards your employees, even if the party is outside of the workplace and contracted working hours.

A solution to this problem might be that you arrange transport to take your employees home after the party or at least make sure that you have circulated telephone numbers of local taxis beforehand.

An employee complains that he/she has been sexually harassed by a colleague

Make sure you have the right policies and procedures in place, taking care to follow your policies absolutely!

An employee fails to turn up for work the next day

Perhaps you could arrange for the party to be held at a time when you will be closed the next day.  However, this may not be possible so make sure you have the right policies and procedures in place.

After all that - is it really worth having a Christmas party for your employees?

Of course, provided you have:

  • Thought ahead;
  • Know your legal duties as an employer; and
  • Have put the right policies and procedures in place
Once that's done.... 

Relax and have a really good time!

Happy Christmas!

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