Works Christmas parties are a great way to let your hair down and enjoy a few drinks with colleagues. Just be careful though that you don’t do something which you may later regret.
A works party is still a work function and inappropriate behaviour could get you into trouble.
Alcohol can dampen inhibitions and it is not a good idea to tell the boss what you really think of him or to start a fight with the smug guy from despatch.
Employers are still responsible for the behaviour of their employees at parties whether they are held during working hours or after work. So if you step out of line and someone complains about your behaviour you might find yourself in trouble.
A survey by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development reveals that 10% of workers know of a colleague who has been disciplined for inappropriate behaviour at the Christmas party.
Employment Tribunals have upheld claims from employees for the actions of their colleagues at works parties so there is evidence to support what I say here.
Let’s keep this in perspective though and remember that the vast majority of Christmas parties take place without anyone behaving badly so no one wants to be a killjoy but employers need to make it clear to employees what is and is not acceptable behaviour.
Employers should have a quiet word about what is expected prior to the event but all employers should:
- have an equal opportunities policy and a dignity at work policy in place to cover any misdemeanours which may arise.
- ensure that managers also know how to behave responsibly
- have an agreement about late or non -attendance at work the following day
Also sites like Facebook allow for unflattering photos or comments about the boss or work colleagues to be posted. These postings may appear funny to some people but may cause a loss of respect and trust between colleagues and in serious cases can bring the employer into disrepute. Many companies now have social media policies and you could find yourself in trouble for such actions so be careful what you post. It only takes one person to complain and then you will have to explain your behaviour. It’s best not to post anything which may offend anyone, even if you restrict your posts to your “friends”.
And remember that the photocopier is for copying documents not parts of your anatomy.
So having mentioned a few things to avoid make sure you have a good time and enjoy your works party.
Mark David HR Ltd
Human Resource Specialists