Tags: Christmas, Disputes, Employment
You may have seen Thursday's blog offering tips for Employers about avoiding legal issues over the festive period, but do you know where you stand as an employee?
According to a 2009 survey for the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, 1 in 10 workers knows someone who has been sacked or otherwise disciplined as a result of behaviour at an office party.
Obviously that does suggest that 90% of people are able to enjoy a civilised office party without any issues, but to make sure that you remain in that 90% we have put together some suggestions!
Works Social Events are intended to be fun, but when attending this kind of function you are still in a working environment, so your firm’s normal rules about misconduct still apply. You could be subject to disciplinary action if you behave inappropriately.
The top three issues which result in disciplinary action following social events are Fighting, Threatening behaviour and Sexual Harassment.
Do – Drink in moderation. It may be tempting to take the fullest possible advantage of a free bar, but know your limits! Consider alternating alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, and staff sober enough not to start a fight with a colleague or call the Boss anything you may regret in the morning.
Don’t – press your attentions on anyone. You may have fancied the new guy from accounts ever since he joined, but demanding a kiss ‘because it’s Christmas’ would still be sexual harassment.
Do – Think before you post. It’s tempting to post any embarrassing photos you may take of your colleagues, on social media. However, this may cause problems if your employer feels that this paints the company in a bad light, and your co-workers may not be happy if you post pictures of them without their consent. If you do decide to post pictures, it’s sensible not to tag or name your employer, and to avoid posting pictures of people without their agreement.
Don’t use the Christmas party as a venue to ask for a raise, or to discuss any grievances.
Do – Plan ahead. If your party is on a work-night and you are due to work the following day, remember you will need to get to work on time, and capable of doing your job, in the morning. Some employers may be willing to turn a blind eye to late arrivals, but don’t assume that they will.
Finally – if you do wake up after the party to the horrid memory that you have gone too far, don’t despair. A prompt apology may go far.
Hopefully, most of this is common sense – and most of us will enjoy the party season without incident.