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Avoiding employment issues during your Christmas party

As the festive season gets into full swing next week, many of us will be preparing ourselves for the Christmas party, where of course many of us intend to relax with colleagues over one or two, or in some cases, twelve drinks.

This time of year is great for letting your hair down; however the concept of ‘liquid courage’ usually leads to no small amount of questionable antics, including but not limited to ritual abuse of the photocopier and a kiss or two under the mistletoe.

Therefore as we prepare for our own Christmas party I have put together a few tips for ensuring a smooth office do!


If you are worried about getting far too drunk then perhaps avoid alcohol or the party altogether. You could also consider stopping drinking after a certain time or alternate alcohol with soft drinks.

Employers should remind employees of the behaviour expected of them at the venue, as well as their conduct on social media both before and after the event.  The reminder should include reference to the firm’s social media policy; define what is considered ‘proper behaviour’ and the legal concerns about potential problems.

Given most (if not all mobile phones) have camera devises employers should clearly communicate a policy on taking photographs and the consequences of violating the policy.

This is important for employers, as you don’t want to find yourself being vicariously liable for inappropriate conduct.

In terms of the delivery of this message, a polite but jovial email is often received better than a ‘fire and brimstone’ lecture on the consequences of overindulgence.

Inappropriate Behaviour

Remember that Christmas parties are work-related events and you don’t want to wake up to disciplinary proceedings as well as a hangover. So it’s best to avoid any behaviour that could amount to ‘harassment’ based on sex, age, race, disability, sexual orientation, religion or otherwise. 

It is also worth bearing in mind that stumbling around drunk as a junior employee may not do your career any favours.

Keep Business for the Boardroom

If you are in a managerial type role, avoid making promises such as pay raises and bonuses, as you may find the company later being sued for failure to honour such obligations. Keep this type of talk strictly for the boardroom.

If you have a question relating to Christmas Party shenanigans call me for a free consultation on 0113 3504030 or email me at samira.cakali@scesolicitors.co.uk

It is the season to be jolly, but make sure your Christmas party is not one to remember for all the wrong reasons!

Samira Cakali

Samira Cakali is a pragmatic and approachable solicitor advocate with extensive contentious and non-contentious experience in the fields of employment law as well as civil litigation, within a range of commercial businesses from SME’s to multinationals as well as senior executives.

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