HR Consultancy Kent

Christmas Party Pitfalls

Posted: 29/11/23

As the festive season approaches, our thoughts turn to celebrating and Christmas parties.  

Christmas is a great time to show employees that they are valued and reward them for the hard work over the year.  This is particularly important in the current climate; however, it is worth setting boundaries and issuing gentle words of caution before the partying starts. 

Christmas is great excuse for everyone to let their hair down and have some fun. 

But there’s a few things you need to consider. 

Whether you’re in your usual working environment, or at a party that you have organised, it’s your responsibility to keep them safe and you’re also liable for any acts of discrimination, harassment and victimisation committed by your employees. 

So, before any festivities, it’s important to consider the following: 

  • Employers should make sure that the venue and food on offer is suitable for everyone and there are soft drinks supplied.  
  • Remind your team that if they choose to enjoy alcoholic beverages, to do so responsibly and in moderation. Share your alcohol and drugs policy with your team.  
  • If your team are participating in a gift exchange, highlight the importance of keeping it lighthearted and thoughtful and non-offensive. 
  • Respect privacy. Capture the joy of the moment but be mindful of others’ privacy.  Remind your team to always seek permission before posting pictures online, ensuring a respectful and enjoyable atmosphere.  
  • Be inclusive. Embrace the diversity of your team and be mindful of different holiday traditions. Create an environment where everyone feels included and valued.  
  • It is worth making your employees aware that the Christmas party is a company function and they are still representing the business   
  • Pre-party drinks at a different location count as an extension of work so all discrimination laws still apply.  Often employees mistakenly think conduct outside the workplace cannot result in disciplinary action.   
  • Encourage your team to plan how they are getting home before the partying starts, to ensure everyone gets home safely.    
  • Think about how you will treat any absence the following day, or better still arrange it for a night when your employees are not expected in the next day.   

Following these few simple steps will make the Christmas party a night to remember for all the right reasons.   

For further support and advice, please contact us. 

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