Our employment team received an interesting query this week from a new client who is a well known toy-maker and distributor that we thought we would share as a lesson to employers.

Mr. S. Claus runs North Pole Toys Inc, a well established blue chip company famous for its ability to deliver toys by any means necessary (mainly down chimneys and under doors). This is the busiest time of year for his business and Mr. Claus is having an issue with his general operatives. They are represented by their union No Elfing Way and Mr. Claus has struggled for centuries with grievances about snow days and lack of reasonable accommodation for elf size.

It was in this atmosphere of industrial unrest that the annual Christmas party took place. It started well with large helpings of pudding but then the glasses of Irish cream started, followed closely by shots of tequila (elves while slight in stature have an amazing tolerance for hard liquor). Chief elf Buddy, Head of the Union, took the opportunity to have a go at Mr. Claus. This angry tirade snowballed into a very ungracious fist fight with Mr. Claus’s best employee, one Mr. Figgy Pudding. The security guards, Prancer and Dancer had to separate the elves as tinsel and baubles were flying. The festivities were abruptly ended.

It’s now a few days later and Mr. Claus needs advice on how to deal with the situation. Mr. Claus always had suspicions that Buddy was misusing company property and has taken it upon himself to look through Buddy’s company issued IPad. To his horror Mr. Claus found hundreds of images of Buddy in various positions in the houses to which North Pole Toys Inc distributes toys. Buddy swears it is legit and is part of a second job - Elf on the Shelf. Elf labour law is clear - fair procedures must be adhered to. Mr. Claus will need to investigate both Buddy and Figgy Pudding’s involvement in the festive fracas. What a nightmare before Christmas!

While we continue to advise Mr. Claus on the next steps, we thought it would be helpful to share our tips on how to avoid that employment law hangover this Christmas:


A Contact Law survey in the UK found that 28% of employees have been on the receiving end of unwelcome advances from a co-worker at the office Christmas party, with 15% of these advances coming from the employee’s boss or manager.