For many employers, the Christmas party provides a chance to build relationships with staff and recognise their contribution and effort throughout the year.

However, such events bring with them the possibility of inappropriate behaviour.  Employees may have an expectation that what they do outside of working hours is not subject to the usual disciplinary rules. It is vital that employers take pre-emptive action to make employees aware that this is not, in fact, the case.

As employers can be held liable for the actions of employees at work-related social events, we have highlighted a number of tips to ensure that your Christmas party runs as smoothly as possible.

Tips

  • Ensure that the company has a policy outlining how employees are expected to behave at work-related social events.  This should link to the company’s other procedures, such as the disciplinary procedure.
  • Issue a memo to all staff in advance of the event reminding them that it is work-related and so subject to the company’s social events policy and its disciplinary and bullying/harassment procedures.
  • Remind staff to drink responsibly and in moderation. Ensure bar staff are trained and experienced so that guests who appear intoxicated will not be served.
  • Consider arranging for transportation to and from the venue to reduce the likelihood of drink-driving and to guarantee that all employees get home safely.
  • Ensure that the chosen venue complies with all relevant health and safety measures.
  • Check that your social media policy prohibits the unauthorised publication of photos taken at work-related social events.