Seasonal Warnings are here again - By Irenicon, the Employment Law Specialists
Every year, we hear the seasonal news story about how employers are cutting back on Christmas parties, and employment lawyers remind everyone of the legal dangers involved in getting staff together and arranging for them to drink!
In nearly 30 years of advising employers over Christmas, we have found more problems from sales conferences and incentive trips - whatever the time of year.
There are always going to be some individuals who can't handle their drink, or behave badly when under the influence. But managers can deal with that through making plenty of soft drinks available, ensuring individuals don't drink and drive, and making sure individuals who are behaving badly are promptly and discreetly removed from the group. Be prepared for the fact that women can often out-drink the men, and the new woman is capable of behaving as badly as any of the lads. Be sensitive to the fact that lots of people don't drink alcohol for medical or religious reasons, and you should not allow anyone to be pressurised to drink.
While there can be real problems at Christmas parties, it seems a real shame to give up on the office party - for good or ill, it is something that makes us laugh and cheers us up in the darkest time of year.
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