Clear policy could prevent Christmas party trouble, claims legal expert

For the sake of dodging legal issues at the annual Christmas party, bosses should introduce a clear policy to ensure all employees know what’s expected of them.

This was claimed by Adrian Hoggarth, head of employment at law firm Prolegal, who warned readers of about the problems that could arise at a Christmas bash.

Encased in an article listing ten tips for avoiding legal pitfalls at hired event spaces, Mr Hoggarth advised businesses to create a clear set of guidelines for staff to consider when letting their hair down. It was claimed that if employees know what is acceptable and the employer acts consistently in all cases, then all disciplinary actions should be reasonable.

Mr Hoggarth stated: “Ultimately employers should implement a policy that is accessible to all employees and which provides clarity on what is expected of them at such an event and the consequences of inappropriate behaviour.”

The legal expert said exemplary conduct should also be displayed at the online after-party, as emails, Facebook and Twitter messages flood through employee accounts. Employers were told to look out for inappropriate conversations taking place over the internet, with explaining that harassment and bullying claims are known to form through these channels.     

It was also suggested that normal disciplinary issues should be enforced in the event of an employee failing to show up to work the next morning. As a precautionary measure, Mr Hoggarth advised bosses to remind their staff about the consequences of “pulling a sickie” on the day after their annual do.