Christmas parties fall victim to fear of litigation

Four out of five bosses have cancelled Christmas celebrations at work this year.

The poll of 3,533 managers by legal survey specialist, Peninsula, found that 83% of those questioned said this year’s Christmas party had been cancelled because it costs too much and bosses fear worker litigation claims.

More than nine out 10 respondents (93%) cited cost as the prime reason for not organising a party, while 78% of employers said that Christmas parties led to arguments and conflict among members of staff on the night.

Less than one-out-four (23%) bosses said they had a trouble-free parties free of conflict, arguments, tension and harassment.

Mike Huss, senior employment law specialist at Peninsula, said employers had to remember that they could be held responsible for what happens at workplace parties even if they are held outside of normal working hours.

Other findings:

  • 89% of employers said that someone makes a harassment complaint after the Christmas party.

  • 64% of employers have dismissed someone because of their antics at the company Christmas party.

  • 77% of bosses claimed that drunken employees approach them to speak their mind only to be faced with apologies from the employee on a Monday morning for their drunken outburst.

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