my company be sued after a Christmas Party?
With Christmas around the corner it is party time! HR2all recommends
that you follow the tips below to avoid finding you in an Employment
Tribunal the next day.
The key to a successful party is to set out clear guidelines of
unacceptable behaviour such as drug taking, excessive drunkenness,
harassment or violence. Staff may take the view that as a party is
outside working hours, and possibly off company premises, what they do
is none of the company’s business and lies outside everyday company
policy. Pre-empt any issues by outlining what is considered
unacceptable behaviour before the event. Make it clear that any display
of these activities will be dealt with under the company’s disciplinary
procedure, which may include dismissal.
You will want to strike a balance between killing the party altogether
and turning a blind eye to anything that goes on. You should also make
it clear that staff absence will not be tolerated the morning after the
night before. By putting firm, but fair procedures in place employers
and employees alike will be able to wind down during the Christmas
festivities without even one mention of Scrooge.
tips for a stress free Christmas party:
Have great parties
- Make sure you have sound disciplinary
procedures in place at the outset.
- Highlight to staff that the company’s
disciplinary procedure still applies during social occasions.
- Issue a clear statement before the party
outlining unacceptable behaviour such as excessive drinking, taking
drugs or violence.
- Consider limiting the volume of alcohol
- Always take a complaint about harassment
seriously and deal with it properly.
- Make it clear that staff are expected to be fit
to attend work the next day.
- If possible, hold the party on the eve of a
- Provide transport to and from the party –
remind staff not to drink and drive.
- Consider your venue carefully and avoid parties
- Follow up any incidents with an interview and,
if necessary, disciplinary action.
- Try to strike a balance between being a party
pooper and turning a blind eye.
- Have a happy Christmas!