However, these results don’t necessarily translate globally – Handbag.com reported that one in ten Christmas parties in the UK will end in either disciplinary action or dismissal, with half of them being due to romantic encounters between staff members.
Key HR takeaways
Although the Christmas season is well and truly over for at least another eight months, Australia Day, Easter and many other excuses to throw office parties are just around the corner. Emma Reilly, partner at Moray & Agnew Lawyers, outlined a number of tips to make sure your office parties run as smoothly as possible:
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- Review workplace policies on drugs, alcohol, harassment and health and safety. Ensure staff are well aware of them.
- Ensure an adequate food-to-alcohol ratio.
- Set clear start and finish times for all events.
- Make sure adequate security and safety measures are in place. Enquire at the venue as to whether a current safety audit of the premises has been conducted.
- Monitor the behaviour of guests and ensure that there is immediate intervention in the case of intoxication, abuse of power, or other inappropriate behaviour.
Our latest reader poll asked if our readers have ever had to discipline or dismiss staff due to an incident at a Christmas party. The numbers are back, and we found a 50/50 split, demonstrating that the actions of staff at office parties can vary drastically.