Don’t Fall Foul at a Company Social Event

Don’t Fall Foul at a Company Social Event

How to avoid falling foul of your employer at a company social event

It may only be the start of October, but many companies across the UK will have already booked their Christmas parties. These events inevitably allow employees the chance to celebrate, enjoy themselves and let their hair down to a certain extent.

But although a Christmas party or any other work-based social event is likely to take place away from the office and outside working hours, you need to be aware that your company can still take disciplinary action against you should you misbehave at one of these events.

For example, even though it is a social event, your employer may not approve of conduct such as:

  • SEXIST, RACIST OR INSULTING REMARKS DIRECTED TOWARDS YOUR COLLEAGUES, OR TO STAFF AT THE VENUE
  • ADVERSE COMMENTS ABOUT THE EXPERIENCE OF WORKING FOR THE COMPANY
  • ANY DAMAGE CAUSED AT THE PARTY VENUE
  • INAPPROPRIATE TOUCHING OF COLLEAGUES
  • ANY USE OF ILLEGAL DRUGS
  • ANY FORM OF VIOLENCE OR THREATENING BEHAVIOUR

Being drunk is unlikely to cut any ice as an excuse if you engage in such behaviour. However, having had a few drinks can certainly ‘loosen your tongue’ and make you more likely to say something inappropriate.

This all illustrates one of the potential pitfalls of approving your work colleagues as friends on social media. Even if you think you said or did something on the night without the management noticing, you could well find that someone has whipped out their camera or smartphone, taken a picture and posted it on social media.

If the social event takes place during the week and the next day is a normal working day, and you know you are prone to finishing parties worse for wear, then consider booking the next day off. But be sure to book it early as many of your colleagues might have the same idea. Unless your company has told you otherwise, if you don’t book the day off they will expect you in work at the normal time the following morning. Your contract of employment may also expressly forbid you from arriving at work under the influence of alcohol.

Remember that the office socials are not compulsory, so if you don’t wish to attend, just give them a miss.

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