Twas the week before Christmas and all through the town the workers decided it was time to slow down

Computers are decked in tinsel, Christmas cards are displayed on desks and – according to a survey – Britain’s workers have forgotten there is still work to be done this week.

Poor productivity is by far the biggest concern for employers in the final few days before Christmas, Employment Law Advisory Services found in a poll of 600 small and medium-sized businesses.

It seems employees are leaving little time for work between recovering from the previous night’s Christmas party, eating mince pies and hitting the high street for last-minute gifts.

“December is always a tricky time for employers,” said Pam Rogerson, Employment Law Advisory Services  HR manager. “It is important for staff morale for people to be able to relax and take it easy a bit more than usual.

“But it is important not to forget that there is also work to be done and, for most employees, there is plenty of time to let their hair down when Christmas finally arrives.”

While bosses were most concerned about productivity, punctuality and invoice payments over the festive period, parties and political correctness were lower down the list.

“In a sense, this is a victory for common sense,” said Rogerson. “There is no denying that there are risks involved with holding Christmas parties, and employers need to ensure they don’t do anything to offend any religious group, but those are not the season’s biggest worries by far.

“Instead, they are concerned by the basic things that cause them the most difficulty most often.”


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