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‘Tis the season to be jolly…

and a Christmas party can truly be a fantastic opportunity to thank your team for all their hard work throughout the year. It also gives a space for teams to socialise which enables stronger bonds to be built between colleagues.

What’s not to like?

Well, unfortunately, in a small number of cases, it can result in a variety of HR issues to deal with in the new year!

We don’t want to put a ‘downer’ on Christmas parties as we are all for them. In fact, we have a fab one planned for the Taurus HR Solutions team and we can’t wait!

It’s just worthwhile being aware of the potential pitfalls and putting in place a few things to ensure all goes smoothly and there are no resultant issues.

Discrimination, harassment and grievance cases have been known to occur after a Christmas party.

Just mitigate this happening in the first place.

Did you know that if a misconduct allegation is made about a person’s behaviour at your Christmas party it has to be dealt with as if it had happened in the workplace?  Therefore, an employer can end up being tentatively liable for the incident.

Here’s a few things you should do to prevent any such occurrences:

Communicate to your team that any misconduct at a Christmas party would be dealt with in the same way as if it happened at work. This sounds miserable but at least everyone knows where they stand and can be done gently.

Try to plan your event with inclusivity in mind: alcohol is often central but there are many various reasons that people do not drink whether that be religious, pregnancy, driving, health reasons, the list goes on. Dietary requirements are important to cater for too. It’s important that everyone is included and feels so.

Be mindful of inviting those who are on absence leave, whether that be maternity, parental or sick leave.

It’s also important to be considerate of the type of venue and ensure it’s accessible for all your team.

No one wants to feel excluded.

Christmas parties are all about inclusion, enhancing work relationships and fun. Make sure yours is.

Christmas parties really can be a great way to end the year on a positive note and by making sure you’ve covered the basics discussed here you are on a good footing to have a great time.

We’re planning to go the Crystal Maze Experience and then eat a lot of delicious food!

Whatever you choose to do for your Christmas event we’d love to hear about it and if you’d like some employee relations advice or support, just get in touch via our email or call us on 0330 043 0897.

In the meantime, enjoy those Christmas parties!

Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la ♫ ♪ ♬♩ ♫

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