Christmas Parties: Top Tips for Employers

With Christmas party season fast approaching, it is critical for employers to remember that office parties are considered an extension of the workplace. In preparation of such events, employers should take the necessary steps to ensure a safe environment is provided for all employees.

Behaviour & Conduct

Employers should be aware that they can be vicariously liable for any misconduct that occurs during Christmas parties. Remind employees that the Christmas party constitutes a work-related event, and that any breaches of expected standards of conduct could result in formal disciplinary procedures.

Provide a copy of the Company’s Disciplinary and Dignity at Work Policy to all employees, and make it clear that inappropriate behaviour or comments will not be tolerated. If an issue of misconduct does arise, it is important to take prompt action.


If alcohol is being provided, be sensible about the level and frequency being supplied. Ensure non-alcoholic options are available to employees, and remind employees of the importance of moderation. Providing a limited number of free alcohol tokens can serve as an option to reduce excessive alcohol consumption.

Social Media

Reiterate the Company’s guidelines around social media, and make employees aware of what they can and cannot post. Explain the potential impact that negative or offensive content could have on the Company, and consider drawing up a Social Media Policy if you do not already have one in place.

Absence Management

To avoid unnecessary absences the day after, some Companies will opt to hold their Christmas party on a Friday. If this is not possible, ensure all staff are aware of what is expected from them in regards to the following working day, or potentially consider a later start in the morning. Remind employees of the Company’s Attendance Management policy, and clarify any consequences for repeated lateness.

Dress Code

Implementing a dress code policy can help to ensure employees wear appropriate attire. Any dress code implemented should take into account cultural or religious considerations.

While Christmas parties can be a great way to boost employee morale when approaching the festive period, it is critical that employers set out expectations of conduct, to ensure as far as possible the safety and wellbeing of employees.

Contact Us:

For more advice and support on office Christmas parties, or to discuss our HR Services, please contact a member of the RBK HR Solutions Team: