Claim fears could trigger mass workplace Christmas party cancellations

As many as nine out of 10 businesses could ditch their Christmas bash this year because of legal worries, Croner warned.

Find the latest news and advice on Christmas issues for employers

View Personnel Today’s employer’s guide to Christmas, which covers issues such as office parties, religious discrimination and Christmas bonuses.

The legal adviser claimed exaggerated fears of compensation claims among the nation’s bosses could be jeopardising employees’ chances of getting cosy with some mulled wine this yuletide.

Richard Smith, employment services director at Croner, said: “Alarmist reports of the legal risks of Christmas parties, such as boozy brawls, festive flirting and festering finger-food, are creating a nanny state, causing bosses to cancel Christmas altogether.

“What employers need to remember is that safety and employment laws are not intended to be a killjoy or a trap. They exist to make the working environment a safer and more pleasant place.

“It may not seem like it at the time, but the Christmas party is technically a work activity, which is why we’re issuing guidelines for a successful celebration.”

The guidance advises bosses to issue behavioural guidelines, limit the amount of alcohol available, and ensure mistletoe is not present at the event.

They are also advised not to expect too much from their staff the next day.



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