Company Christmas Party: Eat, Drink, Be Merry – But Act Responsibly!

“What I don’t like about office Christmas parties is looking for a job the next day.” – Phyllis Diller


At this festive time of year, many of us are looking forward to the Company Christmas Party.  It’s an opportunity for people who see / speak to each other most days to get together in a more social environment.

For employers, it can be a chance to thank everyone for their hard work and efforts during the year.  But, if people get carried away, you could end up with more than a hangover to deal with!

As an employer, you want staff to enjoy themselves, but when the alcohol starts to flow situations can get out of hand.  What starts as a bit of banter can turn into harassment of even a fight – which is why you need to act responsibly!

While staff are responsible for their own actions, you could be held liable for their behaviour at a company event if you haven’t taken steps to prevent inappropriate behaviour.  Here are 4 things you should consider to help avoid those Company Christmas Party headaches!

  • Before the Company Christmas Party, remind people (more than once) of the standards of behaviour that are expected
  • Make it clear that verbal and physical abuse in unacceptable in any circumstances
  • Encourage people to drink responsibly – it could be a long night so pace yourself!
  • Make it clear that drink driving is not acceptable in any circumstances – try to ensure they have made plans / provision for appropriate transport home

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Steps like these could (and should) form part of a workplace Social Events Policy, because social event aren’t just for Christmas, they are considered to be included in “the course of employment”.  The Equality Act 2010 makes employers liable for acts of discrimination, harassment and victimisation carried out by employees in the course of employment unless they can show reasonable steps were taken to prevent such acts.

Merry Christmas!!!

You want your Company Christmas Party to be a festive celebration that’s remembered for the right reasons.  Following these simple steps of preparation can help make sure everyone has a good time.

Blunt thinking for your Company Christmas Party from Yorkshire Powerhouse
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Yorkshire Powerhouse Limited is a company registered in England & Wales No. 10237925.
Registered address: Unit 14 New Mills Brougham Road, Marsden, Huddersfield, England, HD7 6AZ