For many employees, the highlight of the season is the office Christmas party and organisations should take care to ensure aspects such as the venue and catering options are suitable for all staff, to avoid allegations of discrimination such as against those of a certain age or religion.
During parties, there is often an increased risk of misconduct and bullying or harassment. As seen in Bellman v Northampton Recruitment Ltd, organisations could be held liable for the actions of staff even after the Christmas party has ended.
Gifts may create a risk of bribery when issuing or receiving gifts from clients or customers. Booking time off may also present a significant issue during the Christmas period so it is important to have a well-constructed holiday policy in place and ensure business decisions are fair and consistent.
In the case of George v London Borough of Brent, the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) were asked to decide if an employer had acted fairly by refusing to provide a trial period to an employee, before proceeding with a redundancy dismissal.
* Source: CIPD HR-inform