Lawyer offers work Christmas party advice
Published: 19 Dec 2012 18:00
Law firm Gardner Leader with offices based in Newbury and Thatcham have released advice to ensure bosses and employees do not fall foul of disciplinary action ahead of the festive break.
Employment law specialist Julie Taylor said: \"It is important to remember that employers have duty of care for all their staff, whether it is at their desk or during Christmas celebrations, which are likely to be considered work-related.
\"Setting out what is acceptable behaviour before the event is very important, together with highlighting that any rule-breaking will be viewed as misconduct to be dealt with through the companies' disciplinary procedures.\"
Unwanted advances by colleagues could lead to an employment tribunal claim and the employer can be held liable for failing to provide adequate protection for the employee targeted. This is another area that should be covered by a robust policy and clear attitude at management level to underline what is acceptable and unacceptable behaviour.
Managing diversity in the workplace is also an important consideration when dealing with a Christian festival and a workforce that may have different cultural or religious beliefs and employees should not be pressurised to attend Christmas-related events.
If the party is in the office, then limiting the amount of alcohol can be a good idea and locking up the stationery cupboard and disconnecting the photocopiers.
Employers should also pay attention to the generous bottles of wine or bubbly changing hands between customers and suppliers. The obligations under the Bribery Act means good policies are essential and employers should remind all staff to record any gifts, whatever the value, in a hospitality and gift register.
Employees should be made aware of the absence policy, and be reminded that abuse of the system will result in disciplinary action. All employers have to assume absence is genuine, but employees who know that return to work interviews will be held and that absence management procedures will be pursued, are much less likely to phone in sick after that late night.
Get more stories from our Roundup section
13 Dec 2013 17:40
POLICE are searching a house in Reading tonight after a 22-year-old man was arrested in connection with the disappearance of a teenage girl who has not been seen for 10 days.
13 Dec 2013 17:00 • Nick Gutteridge
MORE than nine in 10 youngsters in West Berkshire take part in further education or training when they leave school - one of the highest figures in the South East.
13 Dec 2013 17:00 • Andy Wilkins
THE council have teamed up with police to crack down on drink driving over the festive period.
13 Dec 2013 15:30 • Andy Wilkins
SLOUGH and Eton CofE Business and Enterprise College has been rated 'outstanding’ after its latest Ofsted inspection.
13 Dec 2013 15:06
THE Thames Valley and Chiltern Air Ambulance helicopter is expected to be grounded until Sunday.
13 Dec 2013 14:30
FIREFIGHTERS are set to strike again in a row with the Government over pensions.
13 Dec 2013 13:30 • Andy Wilkins
FAMILY and friends of a man who died in police custody after being stopped and searched will hold a vigil to mark his birthday.
13 Dec 2013 12:00
NUCLEAR bomb factory AWE Aldermaston was handed two top safety accolades just days before the release of a report in which it was slammed by the Health and Safety Executive for “playing down” a potentially fatal explosion.
13 Dec 2013 11:30 • Andy Wilkins
A YOUNG fundraiser proved she is a cut above the rest as she chopped off her luscious locks in the name of charity.
13 Dec 2013 11:10
A HEARTBROKEN grandmother has issued an emotional plea after thieves stole her grandson’s favourite bike.
13 Dec 2013 10:00
A 22-YEAR-OLD man from Reading is being quizzed on suspicion of murder today in connection with the disappearance of a teenage girl who has not been seen for 10 days.
13 Dec 2013 09:30
TWO sheds were damaged when a blaze broke out in Mortimer last night.
13 Dec 2013 09:30 • Andy Wilkins
A BRAVE woman who fought off a knife-wielding burglar who threatened to rape and kill her in her own home has spoken about her ordeal.
13 Dec 2013 09:00
FUNDRAISERS will sway to the salsa beats at a charity zumbathon on Sunday.
13 Dec 2013 08:45 • Newsdesk
A SEA of lanterns are set to light up a town centre tomorrow.
13 Dec 2013 08:00 • Tessa Watkins
THE Fire Brigades’ Union (FBU) has announced further strike action over a pension dispute with the Government.
13 Dec 2013 07:30 • Andy Wilkins
THE planner behind a multi-million pound expansion project admitted that the plans conflicted with green belt policy.
12 Dec 2013 17:50
SHOPPERS are warned they are being turned away from a Lower Earley supermarket after a fire broke out in the bakery.
12 Dec 2013 17:30
THE Food Standards Agency has issued a warning to the public after a soft drink was found to contain high levels of cocaine.