Office Christmas Party season is almost upon us and all over the
land HR folk are breaking into a sweat. This is the most perilous
event of the year for the rulemakers and those who tend to break
the rules of office etiquette. Sure, it's a chance to let your
hair down with colleagues, sing praises of the company and the
wonderful people you work with and tell the boss and underlings
what a great job they are doing.
Oh Sure! More likely it is a moment when you get drunk, tell the
boss or colleagues what you really think of them, make a fool of
yourself, and do things you later regret.
Stacks Law workplace expert Nathan Luke says the law offers no
excuse for breaking workplace rules at a Christmas Party.
"Courts and work tribunals are littered with cases of
office Christmas Party excess ending in sackings and compensation
claims. Seek legal advice if you get into trouble."
The rules of behaviour inside company premises apply equally to
company organised events held outside the company premises. All
those office rules against bullying and inappropriate comments or
sexual behaviour still apply. Here are ten Office Christmas Party
do's and don'ts:
Rule number 1: Don't get drunk! You are bound to say or do
something you later regret. Your office colleagues won't think
better of you for singing loud bawdy songs, swearing undying love
or starting a fight. The boss certainly won't.
Beware of taking what you think is friendly flirting too far.
Sexual harassment rules apply at the party just as much as in the
Dress appropriately - this is still an office event.
You can be sacked for stupid things you do at an office party.
Courts won't accept the excuse that it was a party, Christmas
Don't drink and post party pics online or to the
twitterverse. That embarrassing pic of you doing handstands could
end up going viral.
Karaoke rarely impresses. Also it's a good idea to eat
before the party. Scoffing finger food isn't a good look - and
there's the danger of dribble.
No off-colour jokes - sexist comments, abuse, discrimination
and humiliation are not funny.
Don't ask questions of co-workers that are too personal.
The office barriers are still in place.
Best to organise transport home for partygoers - employers have
a duty of care at office functions.
Courts have ruled even post party shenanigans are still
technically "at work" and have led to a justified
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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