Failure to warn employees as to inappropriate behaviour at the office party. Employers owe a duty of care to their employees and all should be warned that inappropriate behaviour is not acceptable –including lewdness/inappropriate touching and comments and could lead to claims of discrimination against the company and the individual concerned. Discrimination in relation to gender works both ways-so please do not think Christmas should be used as an excuse for male staff to have to suffer inappropriate treatment/comments.
Some employees may not, because of their religious or philosophical beliefs, feel comfortable having to attend a booze filled event or after works drinks and therefore feel excluded-ever thought of asking all staff what they would like to do. People should not feel pressurised or ostracised should they fail to attend.
Secret Santa-inappropriate gifts or those that could cause offence on the grounds of gender/race/religion should be on a pre-warned banned list.
Encouraging staff to drink at events in the name of team bonding and festive spirit and then not checking that they are about to get into the Company car-is not only morally reprehensible but could lead to further action from the police/courts.
The perils of social media-gossip/innuendo/recalling exploits can add fuel to internal employee disputes and also damage the good name and reputation of the employer-remind employees that social media is both a gift and a burden-they should be careful what they say and post.
No Christmas bonus ! What a Scrooge-do you always pay a bonus-if you have over a period of years-it could be seen as an implied contractual entitlement –if it’s going to be a one off-say so.
Women on maternity leave-they are just as entitled to an invite to staff parties-why should they be excluded-the same for staff on long term sick. Just because they are unwell don’t fall into the trap of thinking that they cannot enjoy some social time.
The day after-make clear to staff what you expect the following day if it is a work day. If there job requires working with machinery etc-do not ask them to perform tasks they may not be in a good place to perform.
Deal with any post –party issues quickly-do not let them fester over any holiday break-it’s storing up problems for the New Year.
Conducting staff performance reviews mid meal is not acceptable –even if it is to say you are brilliant!
Inviting partners/spouses to events. An employee in a same sex relationship is as entitled as the next person to have their loved one with them.
Recognise that venues must be accessible for all. What if the venue is difficult for someone with a physical disability to access or where flashing lights and loud noises may cause health problems.
Communicate with staff in advance
Warn against inappropriate behaviour
If you see it get out of hand-deal with it
Make sure people get home safely
Deal with any post party problems promptly
Follow these steps, have a great time and you can be sure of starting the New Year on a positive note!