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The downside of a Christmas party

Tuesday, December 06, 2016
With the festive season in full swing, many of you will have Christmas parties and celebrations to look forward to with your staff in the run up to the School holidays. It’s a great way to thank them for their efforts, boost morale and for them to let their hair down….but don’t let your guard down!

To help ensure you have hassle free work celebrations, take the following steps:
  1. The invite: invite all staff to attend and don’t forget those who are absent (e.g. on maternity leave or sick leave) but don’t insist they come. As it’s a Christian holiday some may not want to attend on religious grounds. Others may have family responsibilities preventing them from attending if it’s outside of working hours.

  2. Set boundaries: remind staff of the boundaries of acceptable behaviour beforehand and make it clear that unacceptable behaviour (e.g. harassment, discriminatory questions/remarks, drugs, fighting) may result in disciplinary action. It may sound like a bore but as social events are “work related”, as the employer you could be liable for one colleague’s behaviour towards another. Taking reasonable action to help protect your staff will be your defence to any claim.

  3. No work talk: remind managers not to talk to their staff about work – this is a social event after all. Informal appraisals, performance concerns and pay or promotion promises could land you in hot water after the event. Avoid them completely.

  4. The next day: If staff have work the next day, remind them that whilst you want them to have fun, they will be expected to attend work the following day and be fit to do their work. Failure to do so could result in disciplinary action.

  5. Secret Santa: If you run a Secret Santa, make it optional and ensure all staff are told that gifts must be inoffensive.

  6. Finally: after taking the above steps, enjoy! You deserve a well-earned celebration (but remember we are here if anything does crop up!)




Don't forget...

.... that our HR Advisory service now includes an annual visit to your school.  You can use this visit to apprise us of any new developments in your school or alternatively to assist you with any HR issues that are better dealt with face to face.

There is no extra cost for this visit and it is available to all HR Advisory clients old and new.  If you would like to book a visit by one of our consultants to your school, please contact us on 0845 459 7013.

"The days of a school being able to rely solely upon the advice of someone without a law degree are fast disappearing. Getting correct advice at the outset of an issue has enabled us to be more knowledgeable in our responses and to clear up issues much more quickly than in the past, when Judicium were not our advisors.” Barry Nicholson, Business Manager – Shirley High School

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