It has arrived! Tonight is our staff Christmas party and there are a lot of excited people buzzing around our office.
Now we at Endeavour are very well behaved but this blog will provide you with some tips to ensure no member of staff ends up on the naughty list.
After all it is the season… and many employers at a Christmas party will provide celebratory drinks and even nicer employers will provide a free bar throughout the evening. However lots of free drinks can encourage excessive alcohol intake and therefore it is the employer’s duty to remind staff that they should take it easy.
If a member of staff becomes disruptive as a consequence of excessive drinking take a moment to sit them down, get them a glass of water or ensure they get home safely.
It also goes without saying make sure junior employees under the age of 18 years are not drinking.
Even though away from the office, employers should be reminded that they are liable for the actions of their employees. Unfortunately issues can arise at a Christmas party as all members of staff are in one place and therefore employees should be reminded that acts of bullying, harassment or discrimination are no more acceptable at a party than in the office, and employers should encourage a culture of mutual respect.
If any issues do arise best practice is to send that employee home and deal with the incident when you are back in the office and in a position to implement the Company’s disciplinary procedures.
Remind your managers not to promise any early Christmas presents at the party. The best advice is not to discuss promotions or pay rises with employees at the party, as words of encouragement could be misinterpreted.
Almost everything ends up on social media these days and no doubt there will be video footage of the Managing Director break dancing or a photo of a colleague looking a little worse for wear posted on Facebook. However even if funny at the time employers should be aware that posting photos without consent of those appearing in the photo could present data protection issues. In addition embarrassing photos could damage relationships between colleagues or even constitute bullying. Even worse, the business’s reputation could be brought into disrepute. Therefore to tackle this, ensure that the employees’ attention is raised to any social media policy that is in place, and remind employees of how such behaviour may fit into the businesses’ disciplinary procedure
The journey home
Employers owe a duty of care to their employees, even when the Christmas party is over and an employee is on his or her way home. Therefore, consider booking registered taxis for the journey home or ending the party whilst public transport is still running.
The next day
Decide in advance how lateness or absences will be treated with regards to the morning after. Make this clear to employees before the party starts and if there are any plans to deduct wages for lateness, only ever do so where the employment contract allows. Critically, ensure that all employees are fit for work when they arrive at the office the next day.
Why is this all so important?
Looking after your employees is of paramount importance, as is protecting the interests of the business and disciplining where unacceptable behaviour is carried out. Additionally a employer can be vicariously liable for the actions of its employees and therefore it is important acceptable standards of behaviour are maintained throughout the festive season.
A Christmas party should be enjoyed, but don’t let one night create an entire advent calendar of problems – stay tuned for our last employment instalment!