Avoiding Legal Issues at the work Christmas party

    As an employer, the actions and welfare of your employees during the work Christmas party are your responsibility. Through the nature of Christmas parties, employees forget that they are an extension of the working environment but subject to relaxed expectations. A frequent occurrence is the fallout in relation to harassment through sexual advances or fights.

    Below, we have listed some possible legal issues that you could be liable for as an employer at your work Christmas party and give you some tips on how best to avoid any unpleasantness:

    What type of actions could arise at the Work Christmas Party?

    What should you consider as an employer?

    • Hire professional bar tenders and remind them that you will not complain if they refuse to serve people that are too intoxicated.
    • Limit the amount of free alcohol provided.
    • Provide food so people are not drinking on an empty stomach.
    • Hire transportation if the location is far from the work place.
    • Make sure your equal opportunities, anti-harassment and bullying policy are up to date with the legislation such as that of the 2009 ACAS code of practice on disciplinary and grievance procedures.
    • Ensure your employees are aware of the policies that you have taken the time to put into place.
    • The most important thing: do not remove the fun from the Christmas party

    Your duties as an employee?

    • To remember it is a relaxed work environment, but you are still representing your company and should act accordingly.
    • Regardless of the situation you should respect your employees as people.
    • Just because you are not in work does not mean you are devoid from your connection to work.
    • Gimson v Display by Design ltd; the event were interlinked with work and had the potential to directly affect the work environment.

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