You know it’s nearly Christmas when…

You know it’s nearly Christmas when…

Christmas is great but it does bring with it quite a few reasons to groan - the joke in your cracker, the number of repeats on the telly and the sheer volume of food and drink you consume are examples everyone knows about.

For HR practitioners however there is one more - articles by ‘desperate to be topical’ solicitors or HR professionals about the perils of the Christmas party.  The truth is that most people in HR have actually read far more articles about this ‘problem’ than they have actually encountered issues at Christmas parties. 

But like turkey sandwiches these articles get re-hashed and re-hashed every year.  Pretty soon there will be one in your Inbox or posted on Linkedin reminding you, as if you needed to be told for the 83rd time, that there is the possibility that people might misbehave at your end of year bash and that this could have HR implications. 

They will explain the ‘extension of the workplace’ point, which you knew about anyway, before moving on to the central point - which is that sexual harassment is still sexual harassment even if Slade is being played in the background.  In fact you can go further than that and be fairly sure that even if the DJ pops on something inoffensively religious by Sir Cliff (probably involving a choir of cherub faced schoolchildren) that Nigel from Sales’ decision to make a move for Deidre in accounts is still going to constitute ‘unwanted conduct that has the effect of violating her dignity’ - even if he has got his comedy Christmas tie on. 

But never mind, Christmas will soon be over and that will be it for another year - apart from the similarly predictable articles which will start to make an appearance in advance of the World Cup next summer.  These will be from the same ‘still desperate to be topical’ people explaining how to deal with the disruption England’s three matches might cause and the dangers of discrimination if you give England fans concessions you don’t give to workers of other nationalities.  It is at this point you discover that Deidre from accounts is from Costa Rica. Oh, and pregnant!

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