How to Handle Christmas HR Issues

How well prepared are your work team to deal with any HR issues the festive season may bring? Do you need some professional advice from a HR company in Manchester? Don’t worry, Triple Three Solutions, thought we would identify some of the toughest and most common HR questions facing businesses this Christmas period and share our professional advice.

Do I Need a Policy on Christmas Workplace Social Events?

Yes. Any experienced HR companies in Manchester will advise you that regardless of the size of your business, you really do need a policy on workplace social events. This will ensure that staff understand what appropriate behaviour is and will warn them against excessive alcohol consumption and inappropriate behaviour i.e. discrimination or harassment. For more information on how to hold an incident free office Christmas party, read our blog.

Is it Appropriate to do an Office Secret Santa?

It is nice to bring the festive spirit into work and secret Santa gift-giving is a fun way to do this. However, before you organise one at work, you must review your company’s gift-giving policy and ensure that all employees are aware of it. In a work environment, we must remember that any gifts given must be professional, appropriate and not offensive. If you do not currently have a Bribery Policy or Guidelines around receiving gifts, we suggest that you implement one.

Can an Employee Insist on Taking Holidays Off in the Christmas Period?

Asking for time off at Christmas is tricky, as often lots of staff request the same days off. However, if this holiday leave is not stated in the initial contract, then employees must give adequate notice for Christmas holidays, as with any other holiday. If an employee takes leave without content, remember to address the situation rationally and give an appropriate penalty. In the past, employers have been known to lose court cases because employees had been unfairly dismissed for refusal to work shifts during the Christmas period.

If time off is requested due to religious reasons, employers must be careful as outright dismissal can be deemed as religious discrimination – HR companies will advise you on the best course of action in this instance.

Should I Make Attendance at the Work Party Compulsory?

Making attendance to the office Christmas party can carry some legal risks. We would advise that allowing employees to decide themselves whether to attend or not is the safest option. Some employees may simply not wish to attend which should be acceptable, and you may not be aware that the chosen date falls on a non-Christian religious holiday. Making attendance compulsory means that employees may actually be entitled to claim the time back too.

What Should We Do if Employees Fail to Turn Up Due to Bad Weather Conditions?

In the UK, because we are not subject to extreme weather all year round, in the Winter even the smallest amount of snow or ice can throw the roads into disarray. Therefore, there may be days where your staff members cannot make it into work. We recommend that you implement a policy regarding adverse weather so that staff are clear about your expectations – can staff work from home? Will unpaid leave be permitted? This will all be outlined in this document.

If you would like to find out more about how to avoid any HR issues this Christmas period or to enquire about our services as a HR company in Manchester, please give Triple Three Solutions a call on 0333 050 3330 or send us an email to