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Fun and folly: time for another office Christmas party; what could go wrong?

Published 01 December 2014

T'is the season to be jolly, but employees beware because the works Christmas bash should really carry a serious career warning.

Booze-fuelled indiscretions during the annual festive get together can land you in hot water back at work. The work Christmas party can become a boisterous gathering of people very familiar with each other, in unfamiliar surroundings. With alcohol and enthusiastic encouragement to let your hair down and party added to the mix, it is a combination that can spell trouble.

An inappropriate comment to a colleague, an offensive or unacceptable act, or any unsavoury shenanigans that could potentially damage the reputation of an employer, can breach a company’s disciplinary procedure. Serious incidents outside the workplace can lead to an employee being invited to take the hot seat at a disciplinary hearing to explain themselves. An offended colleague can raise a grievance and any unfitting act could be deemed to have the potential to bring an employer into disrepute.

A little over indulgence can also spell trouble on the road the morning after, especially for employees who drive or rely on a vehicle to make a living. Figures released in the summer reveal 70 per cent of all positive breath tests are the morning after the night before.

Now having sounded like the traditional party pooper it is important to stress that employees can have a good time at the Christmas party, but…just beware and take care.

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For employment law advice or if you are affected or want information and support by any of the issues in this article please give us a call. 

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