Work Christmas Party – Avoid the Hangover

Author: Declan Barbour
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After we all spent our Christmas last year in lockdown, confined to our houses and eating Christmas dinner with our families over zoom, the hope of a somewhat normal Christmas this year compared to last should bring some much-needed joy and excitement to everyone. Part of that excitement turns towards the discussion over the work Christmas party.

As we enter the Christmas period, many workplaces up and down the country will have planned their Christmas party or night out, giving employees the chance to look forward to being able to unwind and enjoy the festive period with their colleagues. That being said, I’m sure a lot of you must be aware of some of the horror stories that have taken place at work Christmas parties in the past.

Most of the time it is something as innocent as an employee having a bit too much to drink but occasionally some more serious legal issues can arise as a result of a badly managed work Christmas party.

When incidents do occur, employers can certainly be held legally accountable. Whether that be fighting, harassment or misuse of drugs just to name a few. They can also lead to employee dismissals which then opens the door for unfair dismissal claims against employers.

To avoid a Christmas party hangover, here are a few things that can be done beforehand:

  • Remind staff they will be at a work-related event and their behaviour should reflect this.
  • Company policies on social media, harassment and equality etc. should be exercised at any work-related event.
  • Have a member(s) of management staff stay sober during the event to manage the event.
  • Cater for different diets, cultures and beliefs.
  • Consider limiting the amount of alcohol available to employees to avoid drunkenness.
  • Ensure all Covid 19 restrictions and procedures are followed.
  • Remind staff that they do not need to attend.

All that being said, if done correctly, Christmas parties can be a great morale booster for all involved. They can allow staff to bond with each other and get to know one another in a more relaxed atmosphere.

If you have any questions or are seeking any advice on any of the issues discussed above please contact us on 0141 552 3422 or by email at

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