Ten tips for a hassle free Work Christmas Do


dancing-santasNow the festive season is here with a bang as December starts, you may already have a headache over the arrangements for the Christmas Do?

Let’s face it, you’ll never please everyone, but what about the celebration itself?

You probably realise that all normal work policies apply to an extension of work activity (like a work’s Christmas Do) even when it’s designed for your colleagues to have fun, BUT not everyone does.  So, it makes sense to gently lay a few ground rules so everyone knows where they stand, without dampening the Christmas spirit.

To save you time, here are some tips you can tweak to suit for your business…to help the celebrations go with a bang!  Feel free to use any of these to send out with the final arrangements for your Christmas Do – whether that’s after work drinks in the workplace, a meal and drinks at a venue or some other work organised activity to celebrate Christmas!

  1. Be inclusive over your arrangements, it is inappropriate and likely to be discriminatory to insist on someone attending a Christmas Party if their religion does not recognise Christmas, so offer an alternative where you can.  Invite anyone off sick, on maternity or paternity leave etc
  2. Plan the celebration at a weekend and preferably when no one has to work the next day. If they do, then plan for a later start so they have time to recover from any excesses and take additional H & S precautions the following day.  Consider how you can make it as easy as possible for those with child or other care responsibilities
  3. Consider any colleagues under 18 who aren’t legally entitled to drink alcohol, assuming your venue will be offering alcohol
  4. Be selective when choosing any entertainment, a comedian for example could get you in hot water if they make discriminatory or offensive comments
  5. If you can’t afford to provide transport each way, provide contact details for local taxi companies, you could arrange with a couple of firms to subsidise trips as a contribution to the fare to discourage anyone from drink driving
  6. Let your colleagues know in a cheery way that you want everyone to have a good time, but they are still representing your business and you expect them to respect that in how they behave and that all normal company policies apply, eg. disciplinary procedure, so if anyone crosses the line, this will be handled exactly the same way as an issue at work – it doesn’t matter if outside of working time, not in uniform or off-site
  7. Remind your leaders of their responsibility in terms of their behaviour as the same applies. It is not ok for them to make inappropriate remarks, jokes or actions just because they are “off duty” and they can be held responsible for their actions
  8. You might want to limit the provision of alcohol to discourage excessive drinking and provide plenty of food to accompany any alcohol
  9. Remind everyone to nominate a driver or take advantage of the options available, eg. public transport in the area. Ensure the party/event concludes before public transport ceases to broaden the options to help people get home safely
  10. Remind everyone to avoid posting ANYTHING on social media that would not be acceptable to post on your company website (if you have one) or for your clients to see. Anything that causes offence will again be handled in the normal way, just as if this occurred during the normal working day.

You can personalise this to suit your business style and make as brief as you like, but if you cover these points, should something go awry, then you will be able to demonstrate that you did everything reasonably possible as an employer to prevent issues occurring in the first place.

Have fun and Merry Christmas!



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