The silly season has officially arrived! It is important to remember that the rules of behaviour inside the office apply equally to organised events held outside the office. Laws relating to bullying, sexual harassment and inappropriate comments and behaviour apply equally to Christmas parties.
Here is a list of 10 rules to help keep you out of trouble at the office or client Christmas party:
Rule 1 – go easy on the alcohol and do not get drunk! The reasons are clear, if you get drunk the odds are that you will do or say something that you will regret. This is the main rule to abide by and breaches of the rules below often stem from a breach of this rule.
Rule 2 - Keep behaviour appropriate. The rules for what is and isn’t appropriate apply equally during office hours as they do at out of hours Christmas functions. The main legal issue is sexual harassment, rule number 2 is often linked with a breach of rule 1.
Rule 3 – Avoid social media. Whilst you may be a big user of facebook, twitter, instagram and be happy for an inappropriate picture of yourself doing the viral thing around the world, others may be less than impressed.
Rule 4 – Keep to the standard office dress code as Christmas functions are an office event.
Rule 5 – Keep any jokes appropriate. Sexist comments, discrimination and humiliation are not funny. Again a breach of this rule will stem from breaching rule 1.
Rule 6 – Don’t get too personal. Remember that those in attendance at the Christmas party are either colleagues, clients or potential clients. Questions that are too personal may lead to offence.
Rule 7 – Keep your secret santa presents appropriate. Again common sense applies and any presents of a questionable nature (whether it be sexual, racial or just plain inappropriate) should be avoided so as not to cause offence.
Rule 8 – Remember to eat. Not eating before or during a Christmas party may lead to breaching rule number 1 without much effort.
Rule 9 – Ensure that you have arranged a safe way to get home such as Taxi, Uber (if legal in your State) or a lift from a family member or friend.
Rule 10 – as rule number 1 is so important and a breach of it will lead to breaches of other rules, it is best to repeat – do not get drunk!
Whilst bearing the above rules in mind you should also not forget to have fun, Christmas is a great time of year to celebrate achievements at work and look forward to what next year might bring.
From the team at Cormiston Legal - Happy Christmas!
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