Employers fear festive fallout from Christmas parties

More than a quarter of UK employers are expecting problems from staff at their Christmas party this year and wish they didn’t have to stage it at all.

Recruitment firm Poolia Parker Bridge surveyed directors at more than 200 businesses. According to its poll, businesses are no longer just worried about the logistical problems of staging a successful party.

Poolia Parker Bridge’s Shelly Casley said: “Employers are increasingly aware that, if it goes wrong, which so often happens once the drink starts to flow, it could lead to discrimination, harassment or even unfair dismissal claims.”

Tony Bourne, a partner and head of the employment unit at Glovers Solicitors, said preparation and planning were the key if companies want to avoid a severe financial and legal hangover in the New Year.

“Decide what you want to achieve and carefully select the venue, refreshments and entertainment in line with that goal, taking into account the ethnic, age and gender diversity of your workforce,” he said.

“It may be that you want to allow people to let their hair down with as much booze as they can consume. That’s perfectly valid, as long as you realise that you may be liable for the actions of your employees in the course of such a binge.”

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