Citation Offers Advice to Employers in the Build Up to Christmas Party Time
Citation reminds businesses of their responsibilities when planning or hosting the office christmas party.
No employer wants to be seen as a Scrooge but they must also realise that the responsibility for their staff’s actions remain with them, despite the fact that most Christmas parties take place outside
‘Tis the season to be jolly, but Christmas party season doesn’t always bring glad tidings for employers. That is the message from Citation, the leading UK employment law and health and safety compliance specialists, who are reminding businesses of their responsibilities in the build up to the festive period.
Employers must strike a balance during Christmas celebrations. No employer wants to be seen as a Scrooge, but they must also realise that the responsibility for their staff’s actions remain with them, despite the fact that most Christmas parties take place outside of traditional work hours.
According to current employment legislation, any social event organised by an employer represents an extension of the workplace, regardless of the time or place. It doesn’t matter whether a gathering is held in an office or alternative venue; the employer is likely to be held responsible for the behaviour of staff.
That’s why Citation is providing advice on the practical aspects of Christmas party planning; to ensure that everybody enjoys plenty of Christmas spirit, but nobody has too much.
Understandably, the first consideration is the consumption of alcohol. Employers are reminded that drinking alcohol can lead to accidents, fights or incidents of harassment. That is why it is important that employers establish the rules of the event beforehand so that all employees know what is expected of them.
Employees should be made fully aware that the Christmas party is a work based event and the company’s normal disciplinary procedures will apply in the event of an incident. Citation advises that this be put in writing to eradicate any doubt.
If staff members are expected to return to work the following day it is important that they are made aware of the consequences, should over indulgence prevent them from attending; or even if they should attend but be deemed unfit to work.
According to Andrea O’Hare, Head of Employment Law & HR Services at Citation, the sanctions imposed by the company are up to the employer, but what’s important is to establish this before the event and ensure that all staff know what is expected of them; and what the consequences are if they step out of line.
She said: "When properly organised, the Christmas party is often one of the highlights of the working year; a chance to reward staff for their efforts, and simply have a good time. But employers need to remember that the behaviour of staff will often need to be managed as closely as other aspects of the event.
“Workers should be reminded of what is expected of them at the event and the consequences if they fail to meet these standards. So long as they enjoy the party responsibly, everybody is free to have a great time.”
Citation provides Employment Law Compliance and HR Services to UK businesses in every industry. They take away the strain of contract drafting, disciplinary procedures, risk assessments and much more, leaving employers to focus on the things they do best; particularly running a successful business.
For more information on staff Christmas parties, or any other employment law and health and safety compliance issues, call 0845 234 0404, or pay a visit to http://citation.co.uk.
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