After an absence of more than two years, work Christmas parties are back with a bang.
Staff and employers are being reminded that workplace policies and procedures still apply while at the office party.
Many companies are throwing lavish social events this year and using parties to give them an edge in the current tight labour market.
Paul Davis, CEO of the Davis Events Agency, said it has been a busy season for corporate Christmas parties and, while many companies have increased their budgets, they also want to see more of a return on their investment.
“Christmas parties are being used as a way to motivate staff, to retain existing employees and also to attract new recruits,” Mr Davis said.
“Companies that have really exciting and engaging Christmas parties use it as a tool to attract new employees,” he added.
Paul Davis says that Christmas parties are being used as a way to motivate staff
Event planners are not the only ones that are kept busy during Christmas Party season – employment lawyers say they are expecting legal cases linked to parties in the New Year.
Mairead McKenna is an employment law barrister and a member of the Employment Bar Association.
“Dignity at work, anti-harassment and anti-bullying policies all apply during the course of the Christmas party,” Ms McKenna said.
“It is very important to remind employees that anything they say or do during the course of the Christmas party could have long term repercussions for their employment and their careers.”
Mairead McKenna says anti-bullying policies all apply during the course of the Christmas party
“Posting material on social media may be something that people do regularly in their personal lives, but employees should be aware that different rules apply at a staff party,” she added.
After a two-year absence, it has been a long wait for many Christmas partygoers, but it does not have to be a long night and it is important to know when it is time to head for home.