'Tis the Season to be Jolly! Christmas HR tips

10 December 2018

Andrea Palmer, Head of HR Services at Aspire Business Partnership shares Aspire’s top HR tips for the Christmas period.

‘Baby its cold outside’ ……. Adverse Weather - It is extremely useful to have clear guidance and be mindful of your duty of care when it comes to managing absence when that bad weather hits and an adverse weather policy is a crucial document to have in place.

‘Deck the halls with Boughs of Holly’ ……. Christmas ‘Online’ Shopping – Many of us will be thinking of avoiding the high street rush and purchasing those Christmas gifts and goodies online and team members are often tempted to do this during the day when they should be working! 

A robust IT Policy is essential, this should make it clear whether team members can make their purchases during break times or if you insist on a complete ban of the Internet during the working day.  Either way, it is advisable that employers implement such policies to ensure appropriate use of IT equipment during working hours and of course, the team are aware of any potential data breaches too!

‘Rocking around the Christmas Tree’ - Workplace Christmas parties can bring up issues of conduct and discrimination as some employees may misbehave or fail to turn up the next day!   It is important and good practice for employers to have a policy in place and consider issuing a statement in advance of the Christmas party or similar work-related event.  This statement should remind your team of conduct matters, including the dangers of excessive alcohol consumption, and those behaviours that could be viewed as harassment and the potential for disciplinary action.

It is also important to note that the Equality Act 2010 makes employers liable for acts of discrimination, harassment and victimisation carried out by their employees during employment, unless they can show that they took reasonable steps to prevent such acts.

‘I saw Mommy Tweeting Santa Claus’ - Social media is a great way to share with the outside world just how fabulous your Company is to work for and the Christmas party is a fun time to do this, but it can also mean those drunken office antics quickly become the focus of internet scrutiny.

As a result, you need to ensure that you make necessary preparations, so your team’s drunken tweets don’t damage your company reputation and it is imperative you have an appropriate policy in place should a team member posts embarrassing images or even comments about your clients.

If you don’t have a social media policy, you may wish to create one, or add it to your existing disciplinary policy, ensure you communicate this to your team and that way there can be no confusion should disciplinary action be needed.

‘Driving Home for Christmas’ ……   #nottheusualsuspects @Road_Safety_GB


and finally, police forces across the UK will be carrying out extra patrols and roadside checks – as part of the National Police Chiefs’ Council’s (NPCC) annual festive drink and drug drive campaign as the office party season gets into full swing. 

If your Christmas party offers a free bar, it is advisable to limit the amount of alcohol the team can consume and encourage responsible drinking.  You should also consider organising transport home with designated non-drinkers as drivers or paying for coaches/mini buses.   The safety of employees driving to work after having had transport home the night before should also be considered.

So, if you would like any further advice about these topical seasonal issues, then why don’t you drop us a message now via our new chat feature to ensure you are prepared ahead of time.

‘It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year’ – So have a Wonderful Christmas from Team Aspire HR!

Find out more about Andrea Palmer, Head of HR Services at Aspire Business Partnership here or if you wish to discuss any employment-related needs, draft appropriate policies and help you manage a dismissal process from start to finish, please get in touch. 

T:   0121 445 6178 

M:  07776 535689

E:  andrea.palmer@aspirepartnership.co.uk

View Andrea's LinkedIn profile