17 November 2015
The final push to the end of the year is often a combination of staff being stretched to finish work before the December deadline, covering for team members who are using up the last of their annual leave, and frequent social events on work nights. It makes for a frazzled, often fraught, yet potentially enjoyable month. It’s up to employers and managers to create a fun atmosphere in the office over the Christmas period.
This can be one of the most lively and rewarding times of the year. It can bring with it a number of benefits for employees (and employers), including boosting morale and decreasing absenteeism. This has the knock-on effect of increased productivity and profits in a busy time of year. Engaging employees with the business through events like the Christmas party and bonuses is a great way to do this.
It is however important that employers and managers remain compliant and in line with best practice. Here’s some advice from our experts;
Let’s start with arguably the most anticipated night in the work calendar, the Christmas Party.
Our Head of Employment Law, Andrea O’Hare says:
“It’s important to let staff know that the Christmas Party is a celebration of the achievements of the year and that the company wants everyone to enjoy themselves and let their hair down.”
With employees letting their hair down, can come a bit too much merriment, regretted the next morning, even in some cases affecting individual’s future careers. Andrea continues
“It’s important to find the right balance as these events are useful social and team building activities, but can easily go wrong, with a high risk for misconduct or even gross misconduct.“
“Make it clear that as a work event people are still required to act in a polite and courteous manner to others and inappropriate behaviour or misconduct may still be dealt with via the disciplinary process. From the outset, ensure you set clear boundaries and expectations particularly regarding alcohol consumption and lewd conduct. Always be mindful that there is still a duty of care on the employer.”
Andrea has a few tips on how to mitigate this risk:
The UK is extremely culturally diverse, with many workplaces reflecting this. As an employer or manager it’s important to consider those who don’t celebrate Christmas. Andrea says “the first step is to encourage inclusivity.
Don’t assume that an employee who doesn’t celebrate Christmas, doesn’t wish to attend any organised celebrations. It’s also especially important to respect those that choose not to attend.” Here are some tips to ensure you consider all of your employees at this time of year:
Snow can cause any number of difficulties for staff getting to and from work. The traffic might be slow, trains affected, and some employees may even be snowed in. It happens every year.
It’s up to employers and managers to ensure that a proper policy is in place prior and that each and every employee is aware of it.
Some tips include:
Looking after your employees is integral at this time of year. Creating a fun, festive office environment, and rewarding 12 months of hard work is the way to ensure happy and productive staff members.
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