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Disciplinary – Dealing with mis-behaviour at the Christmas party

A few answers to some commonly asked questions:

How can we stop people getting drunk and other misconducts at our Christmas party?
Before the party make everyone aware that the party is a work-based event and remind them that acceptable standards of conduct should be shown. A list of unacceptable behaviours should be given for example fighting, drunkenness and using illegal drugs. Having sufficient food available, limiting the amount of alcohol available and ensuring a good supply of non-alcoholic drinks should, at least, curb excessive drinking.

How do I deal with drunkenness, etc at the party?
If someone is looking a little worse for wear then a manager should ask them to tone their behaviour down explaining that disciplinary action may be taken, especially if their behaviour is causing offence to other party goers. If necessary, ask the employee to leave, arranging transport if they are incapable of getting home safely. Drunkenness or other misconduct would then be dealt with using the disciplinary procedure.

What if an employee does not turn up for work the day after our Christmas party?
With a "school night" Christmas party, then it’s a good idea to send an email reminding everyone they are expected to be at work the following day unless they have booked holiday and that taking a ‘sickie’ due to a hangover is unacceptable. Anyone subsequently not turning up for work, and without an adequate explanation, would be subject to the usual disciplinary procedure.

Are we responsible for ensuring that employees get home safely from the Christmas party?
Although you cannot be expected to have total responsibility for ensuring everyone gets home safely from the party, you do have a duty of care towards employees in the course of their employment and this duty extends to events like the Christmas party. For example, you may be liable if an employee is involved in a drink-driving related accident on the way home from the work Christmas party. So providing details of last train times and local taxi-numbers and reminding everyone they should not drink and drive is pro-active solution.

Have a great party and if you need any post-party HR advice then give us a call.

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Tel +44 (0) 1628 622722

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We can help you hire and retain the best employees, manage your employees more successfully, and improve employee motivation. Whatever your HR outsourcing needs, In2HR can assist any company within the Thames Valley areas, including Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Oxon and Surrey. So why not contact us today.

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