HR Departments are always busy this time of year. Whether it’s arranging the Christmas party, dealing with inappropriate Secret Santa gifts or the fall-out from the Christmas Party. We have identified below the most common issues facing HR in the run up to Christmas.
- Ensure businesses provide suitable equipment to put up decorations and that they do not block fire escapes.
- Ensure Secret Santa gifts don’t offend people or could be construed as discrimination, bullying or harassment.
- Inform employees in advance of the days they are required to work over the holidays.
- Be aware that employers are vicariously liable for employees’ conduct (e.g. fighting) at Christmas parties.
- Ensure all needs are catered for (e.g. vegetarians, non-drinkers and disabled needs).
- Be aware of the consequences of underage drinking and the offence to knowingly permit or condone illegal drug use.
- Ensure the party does not clash with other religious events (e.g. Hanukah) and consider child care commitments.
- Ensure managers don’t discuss promotions, pay rises or bonuses with staff while under the influence of alcohol.
- Remind employees not to post information on social media that adversely affects the employer’s reputation or that breaches its bullying/harassment procedures.
- Remind employees that if they are due to attend the office the day after the Christmas party they should not attend work under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- Check if Christmas bonuses are truly discretionary..
- Consider removing any mistletoe to avoid claims of sexual harassment.
- Consider how to deal with snow days – there is no statutory right to pay if snow affects work attendance.
From everyone at Morgan LaRoche Solicitors we hope you all have a wonderful Christmas.