Invitations for festive functions have been dispatched. Diets are on hold and sparkly outfits have been dusted off for the party season, but did you know you could be held liable for actions committed by staff outside of the office?
I am no bah humbug I promise you but I do hope my 6 Do’s and Don’ts for the Christmas Season will provide you with a gentle warning to be merry but vigilant this festive season.
Remind staff about the Festive Party Policy.
…….and if you don’t have one, consider drafting one. Employers can be held liable for the actions of staff outside of work even if that conduct takes place outside of the office and outside of working hours. Take this time to remind staff about what amounts to acceptable and unacceptable behaviour at festive functions. Consider your under-age staff and make it clear in your Policy that under age drinking will not be tolerated.
Remember absent Staff.
When sending invitations out for Christmas parties and allocating your Christmas bonuses, remember those staff that are on leave. Forgetting to include staff that are on maternity leave, sick leave and in some cases even suspension could lead to allegations of discrimination.
Consider providing transport.
Providing transport to and from the Christmas party could prevent the common accidents associated with having a little too much to drink at the Christmas party. It will also reduce the risk of staff driving under the influence of alcohol.
Forget to consider all attendees.
In the wake of an increasing number of fatalities caused by poorly labelled food allergens, you would be wise to make sure you cater for all staff by making sure there is something for all dietary requirements and soft drinks for your tee-totallers.
Discuss work issues.
An alcoholic beverage or two or three! Can make for a very loose tongue. The last thing you want on a Monday morning is an invitation to meet the boss you gave some constructive criticism to after your 5th rum and coke.
Be disheartened by my words of caution.
Whilst the message within my few words is clear, most Christmas functions take place without any major issues and yours should be no exception. Consider my DO’S and DON’TS and there is no reason why you and your staff won’t enjoy the festive season………responsibly.
Thursfields’ Employment team invite you to a free breakfast seminar on Tuesday 20th November to explore how employers can prevent Christmas cheer from turning in to a New Year’s nightmare.
Our training will help employers understand the law relating to vicarious liability for acts by staff outside the workplace and give practical advice to HR and Line Managers.
Please follow link to book your free place; https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/hr-exchange-tis-the-season-to-be-folly-avoiding-the-perils-of-the-christmas-party-tickets-51584291003
For further advice please contact Jade Linton, Employment Associate Solicitor on 0121 796 4024 or email firstname.lastname@example.org