“What I don’t like about office Christmas parties is looking for a job the next day.” - Phyllis Diller
So your Christmas work party promises to be a cracker this year?
Big bar tab, lavish dinner?
Pub get together with free drinks and some fabulous karaoke?
Whatever is planned, employers and employees should take note of the following advice:
While everyone is encouraged to relax and enjoy some down time, and everyone knows that some people will drink a little too much alcohol, all staff need to carefully balance the fun with maintaining a safe and respectful environment.
Employers need to be aware that they have a duty of care to take reasonable steps towards ensuring staff safety. If the party is at a private venue, employers should ensure that the principles of responsible service of alcohol are observed. This might mean controlling the extent to which employees can help themselves to alcoholic drinks and making sure that there is plenty of water and non-alcoholic drinks available.
Both employers and employees are expected to engage in appropriate behaviour and comply with workplace policies. Swearing at the boss, making an unwelcome proposition to another staff member, or having an altercation with a fellow employee is unacceptable.
While all this advice sounds a bit dull and boring, most employees would rather wake up tomorrow with their dignity intact and a clear head than have a crazy night on the booze and lose their job.
Afterall, it is only one night!!
Contact Kate Simpson for all your employment law advice.