The Do’s and Don’ts of Christmas Parties!
For many, Christmas is a joyous time filled with cheer and high spirits, with many companies celebrating with decorations, Secret Santa and Christmas parties. However with so much to be cheerful for, celebrations can very quickly get out of hand. Allstaff Recruitment have put together some important things to remember for both Employers and Employees alike regarding Christmas parties and what is expected.
Regardless of whether an office party takes place within work hours or not, it is still considered an extension of your work environment and you should, therefore, conduct yourself as such.
- Most importantly, you should make every effort to attend. Whether you have worked for the company your entire career or have only just started, it is a great opportunity to build relationships with your colleagues.
- Dress appropriately! Remember it is a business event, so whether there is a theme, fancy dress, or if it is more relaxed, ensure that your choice of outfit is not too revealing, inappropriate or could offend anyone.
- Don’t drink too much! If you can, stick to a two drink rule. This way you can still enjoy the evening, without overindulging. The last thing you want is to turn into a drunken mess, stumbling or falling over, and being sick. Any inappropriate behaviour even from drinking can be subject to same disciplinary action.
- Don’t get involved in office gossip or “banter”! Any inappropriate discussions or discrimination towards an employee or senior member of staff can be subject to disciplinary procedures, so if you see or hear any such conversations, be sure to walk away.
- Don’t be distracted! A company will have gone to much effort to arrange a party, so you should make every effort to take part and socialise. Do not be distracted too much by your phone, or other groups that are not part of your party, even if you know them.
- Don’t get too friendly! Any inappropriate behaviour or advances to fellow co-workers could amount to sexual harassment, disciplinary action and in extreme cases a criminal conviction.
- Don’t try to discuss remuneration with a manager! There are many opportunities to discuss why you should get a pay rise, but the Christmas party is not one of these times. Just because you feel a little braver after a drink or two does not mean that that you should act on this new found courage. If you feel strongly about renegotiating your contract, you should book a meeting during office hours and discuss your thoughts professionally.
- Do not call in sick the day after the party! If you did end up having too much of a good time, and feel a little worse for wears in the morning it is unacceptable to not go in to work. Any absence due to drinking too much could be subject to disciplinary action.
- All-Inclusive! When arranging an office party it is essential to include all Employees, even those serving their notice, on maternity or paternity leave, or currently off sick. Ensuring that every Employee is invited to the annual Christmas party is essential to avoid any discrimination complaints.
- No Pressure! Employers should not pressure Employees into attending the Christmas party. In particular, if the party is held out of office hours, it is important to consider that employees may have other responsibilities that prevent them from attending.
- Safety first! All Employers have a duty to ensure that every attempt has been made to try to minimise risks and provide a safe environment for employees during the party.
- Think outside the box! It is important that when organising a Christmas party that Employers consider any potential third party liability. For example, any entertainment or guest speakers that have been arranged need to be suitable for all attendees, without discriminating against gender, sex, religion or beliefs.
- Location, Location, Location! The location of the venue is an extremely important consideration. It should be as central as possible to all those attending, should provide accessibility for any disabilities and be considerate of religion and sexual orientation. This is important to avoid any claims for discrimination.
- Food glorious Food! Dietary requirements and food allergies should be taken into consideration when arranging refreshments. As an extension of the working environment the Employer has a duty of care to its Employees to ensure their needs are catered for.
- Be clear! It is important that Employers are clear on the expectations of behaviour during the Christmas party. This way there can be no misinterpretation from the attendees. It is important to discuss the conduct that is expected as importantly as the consequences of insubordination.
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