Guidance to help employers manage key workplace issues over the festive period including parties and holidays.
The Equality Commission and the Labour Relations Agency (LRA) have issued guidance to help employers minimise the potential of workplace issues over the Christmas period.
Christmas parties and workplace events
The Equality Commission has issued advice and guidance for employers to help ensure Christmas work parties and events are safe, inclusive and respectful. Work-related outings and parties are legally an extension of the workplace and employers can be held liable for the actions of staff on a work night out.
Assess the risk of Christmas events
The Equality Commission advises employers to think carefully about their Christmas events and think about it in terms of a risk assessment.
An employer should make sure events are inclusive, with everyone invited, including for example non-Christians and those on maternity and paternity leave.
Clear guidelines on standards of behaviour
Employers should make sure that it is clear to all employees what is acceptable behaviour on a work night out. This could include advice on drinking responsibly, use of social media and inappropriate behaviour towards colleagues.
Contact the Equality Commission
Employers can get practical advice on the equality implications of employing and managing staff by contacting the Equality Commission by emailing email@example.com or Tel 028 90 500 600.
Employer FAQs on Christmas workplace issues
The LRA has compiled a list of some frequently asked questions that their Workplace Information Service receives each Christmas to help employers prepare and avoid potential workplace issues. The FAQs cover a range of issues, including:
- managing holiday bookings at Christmas
- choice of party venues and entertainment for Christmas parties
- inappropriate staff behaviour
- harassment, bullying and discrimination
- staff health and safety on and off work premises
- best practice with office decorations
- dealing with post-party absences and disciplinary issues
- photographs posted on social media of the Christmas party
Contact the LRA
If you have an employment-related query you can contact the LRA’s Workplace Information Service on Tel 03300 555 300.
Further employer guidance
For further guidance see:
- Set up employment policies for your business
- Workplace policies on smoking, drugs and alcohol
- Managing employee use of social media
- Disciplinary procedures, hearings and appeals
- Handling grievances
- Managing conflict