A survival guide to the potential repurcussions of the Christmas party
For those who over-indulged at the Christmas party and may be regretting pole-dancing in front of the MD's wife, here are a few pieces of advice to help you limit the potential damage you may have caused to your career:
- Forget second helpings of turkey, nothing is more guaranteed to give one indigestion over the holiday period than flashbacks from the Christmas party. Considering how much alcohol is consumed at the event embarrassing behaviour is par for the course, but if your memories are a little more serious than just leading a congo around the dancefloor then taking advice before you return to work is possibly a good move.
- Many Christmas parties take place outside of work hours and outside of the office, but behaviour is still subject to the same employment laws if it can be proved that the socializing was carried out in the course of employment.
- No matter how much of a pain a co-worker has been all year, any physical assault such as punching them is classed as serious misconduct and will be dealt with accordingly. However, you should expect your employer to hold a proper disciplinary meeting to deal with the issue, as failure to do so is likely to be held by a tribunal to be unfair.
- Patting co-workers on the bottom, or grabbing them for a kiss under the mistletoe could be seen as a friendly gesture, but if the attention was unwanted and caused offence, then the co-worker could claim sexual harassment. Depending upon the amount of offence taken and the context in which the behaviour took place, a swift apology and eating humble pie may smooth things over. If it doesn't then again an employer should hold a proper disciplinary meeting to evaluate what action to take.
- According to a survey by recruitment website Monster, 45 per cent of British office workers admitted to amorous clinches with colleagues at the work Christmas bash. Should you regret getting passionate with a colleague after too many tequila shots then according to the online magazine handbag.com make it clear as gracefully as possible that you do not wish for it to happen again and agree not to talk about it in the office.
- Arguing or insulting someone may not get you sacked, but could seriously effect your reputation at work. Again, the advice is to swiftly apologise and retract anything you said and hope the person involved does not bear a grudge. If for some reason you couldn't, or didn't, apologise the next day then the first day back you should take the opportunity to do so to save the situation from escalating.