Last Friday, I had a not so silent night… Oh JOY!
Merry people everywhere… celebrating the 8th or 9th hour of their office Christmas lunches.
I channelled my inner Mariah Carey…
“ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS”… is for you to all go home before you do something that YULE really regret.
But alas, no.
All of Rudolph’s reindeer were present and partying on long after their work functions had “officially” ended.
BLITZEN was drinking like a COMET.
VIXEN was DANCING and PRANCING with DASHER.
And…despite the absence of mistletoe, a married CUPID was kissing DONNER.
NO, NO, NO!
Employers can’t dictate what employees do “in their own time” but there can be real risks if the celebrating continues after the official event ends.
Circulating a Christmas Party policy before the event is important, but in practical terms, revellers may not remember its contents once the partying hits its 8th or 9th hour.
Whilst holding a Christmas breakfast sans alcohol is a tempting risk avoidant option for employers, it is unlikely to be popular with staff, so here are some practical suggestions for those employers holding office lunches and evening functions:
- have defined start and finish times for the function
- hold the function somewhere that doesn’t have a readily accessible bar onsite for those who want to party afterwards
- serve lots of food and water and monitor alcohol consumption
- encourage employees to look out for each other if they decide to continue celebrating after the function has ended
- better still, encourage employees to go home after the event
- if anyone has consumed too much alcohol during the function, assist them to make it home safely
- for evening functions, arrange transport after the event if possible, or suggest that employees travel home together.
Office Christmas Parties are meant to be fun and safe – and not a source of work for employment lawyers…or divorce lawyers. (Yes, I’m talking about you CUPID).