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The office Christmas party; fun and frolics that can give an employer more than just a headache.

Published 09 December 2014

T'is the season to be jolly and for the works Christmas bash,which can give employers a serious headache.

Booze-fuelled indiscretions during the annual festive get together can result in companies having to deal with serious problems long after the party is over, the decorations packed away and the Christmas tree taken down.

The work Christmas party can become a boisterous gathering of people very familiar with each other, in unfamiliar surroundings.

With alcohol and enthusiastic encouragement for employees to let their hair down and party added to the mix, it is a combination that can spell trouble.

An inappropriate comment from one colleague to another, an offensive or unacceptable act, or any unsavoury shenanigans leading to a formal complaint will have to be taken seriously and investigated.

For an employer instigating disciplinary proceedings as a result of an incident at the Xmas party can appear Scrooge-like, and it is unlikely to be a popular decision.

A criminal act or one of misconduct outside of the workplace, depending on the seriousness, or its effect on the company can breach the disciplinary procedure

A little over indulgence by members of staff can also spell trouble on the road the morning after. Figures released in the summer reveal 70 per cent of all positive breath tests are the morning after the night before.

If an employee is subject of criminal proceedings due consideration needs to be given to the impact on the employee’s suitability to perform their role.

Now while employers can appear to be the traditional party pooper it is important to remind employees to have a good time -and take extra 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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