Is it the HR Dept that is to blame for taking the fun out of the Work Christmas 'Do'?
6th December 2011
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Christmas parties - Where has the fun gone?

Where indeed?  Is it the fault of all those HR Party Poopers?

Certainly not but the Employer does need to be aware of the risks according to Joy Arkley Director of the HR Dept West Wales discusses the options:-

It is the definition of fun in regards to a Christmas party that needs some refining:

A social meet up at Christmas to thank staff members for their contribution to the business, whether paid for or not.

The problem is that there are so many stories that come out of Christmas parties that it means it can all sound like employment law and HR is the Christmas Grinch!

Though it may not sound like the Christmas spirit the reality is a business can be liable for the action of their staff and be the ones footing any legal bill.
HR Dept top tips for a Christmas Party without further cost;

  •  Make sure all of your staff (including directors) are aware that the Christmas party is an extension of the workplace. Yes, people should enjoy themselves but as a business owner you have a responsibility to them and you could be the one picking up the pieces
  •  Ask employees to use their common sense. Regardless of where you hold it, they are employees representing your business brand
  • Be mindful if you have any staff under the age of 18
  • If the party is in the office, keep the photocopier out of bounds
  • Have a range of food and soft drinks available so that individuals religious observance is catered for
  • If the staff "do" is during the week, make clear that everyone is expected at their desks at normal time the following day - or organise it on a Friday!

Here are some examples why:

'Gossip about an employees pregnancy following a Christmas party'
'Teacher loses sacking appeal after punch up'
'Explicit text message told husband of wife's affair'
'Millionaire boss humiliated as tribunal rules he sexually harassed employee'

We aren’t part of the ban the Christmas party brigade, it is these and many other untold stories that did not hit the media serve as a reminder of an employer’s liability when organising an event that should be seen as reward and time of enjoyment.

Preventing People problems is what Joy Arkley does well.  For a Free HR Audit or more information how she can help call now  on 01239 639 128

About the Author

Diana V

Member since: 10th July 2012

I am Diana Vickers, the site owner of thebestof Carmarthenshire. This was launched in Carmarthen town in June 2008, to support the very best of the area’s businesses with their promotions and marketing....

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