Merry seasonal greetings of the end of the year celebrations!

Bah humbug!

The seasonal HR warning:

The office Christmas party season is here… Are you prepared?

As an employer, you have a duty of care towards your employees even when they are having fun at your office Christmas party, whether it is on your site or at another location like a hotel. Even at the most well-organised office Christmas party, there is a risk of some alcohol-fuelled misbehaviour. Therefore, it is important for employers to lay down the ground rules before the fun begins.

What can you do as a responsible employer?

• If your office Christmas party is during the week, be clear about what is expected of employees the next day – e.g. should they arrive at their normal time to start work.
• Make it clear to staff beforehand that “scrapping” (physical or verbal) will not be tolerated. This may result in disciplinary action, ultimately a dismissal.
• Where there is alcohol on offer, encourage moderation and be prepared to intervene if the situation seems to escalate. An open bar is always a risk and make sure that there is transport, it discourages any inclination to drink driving.
A few precautionary measures can save a lot of headache and ensure that this festive occasion is remembered for the right reason. It is important to bear in mind that companies could be held responsible for improper behaviour at works events, especially where alcohol is flowing freely.
If you find that there was a problem at your office Christmas party, even if you weren’t present it should still be dealt with.

If you need help or advice, you can give the HR experts a call on 0113 386 9270

Happy Christmas to everyone and have a wonderful New Year!