- Dear Santa

Dear Santa,

We understand that you command a team of highly efficient workers and maintain very high standards year upon year, so we wonder if this Christmas, you might grace us with the following items from our wishlist…

1. Safe Equipment for Putting Up and Taking Down Christmas Decorations

Very few of our employees are blessed with the magic that allows your reindeer to fly, or indeed for you to fit yourself down impossibly tight chimneys, yet they insist on balancing precariously on desks and chairs, and over-reaching or squeezing themselves into confined spaces, all for the sake of decorating the office for Christmas! What they often don’t realise is that this is often classed as working at height, and they could be stretching themselves in manners that can cause strain. So we’d be very grateful for sturdy step ladders, extendable grasping equipment, and where necessary, scaffolding would be excellent.

2. A Nice Hotel or Restaurant for Hosting our Christmas Party

Please bring us a recommendation for an excellent hospitality establishment, that can serve as an extension of our workplace for the duration of our staff Christmas party. You see, the law states that we are responsible for whatever goes on at the party, whether it is in the workplace or not. Good behaviour, bad behaviour, everything comes back to us! So, it would be just lovely to have an establishment that is already equipped for events, has already conducted the necessary risk assessments, can control the flow of alcohol, assist with guests who may have gone a little too far, and (our personal favourite), put everything back together once we have all gone home. Doing this instead of hosting it in our workplace – with the long list of considerations that comes with that – would surely take some of the pressure off of us.

3. An Unquestionable Statement of Our Expectations

The law says that, as employers, we are vicariously liable for any acts undertaken by our employees in the course of their employment, whether we have knowledge of it taking place or not. Yikes! Therefore, we’d love it if you could provide us with a model statement to our employees in advance of the Christmas party that reminds them of our rules for conduct, warns them about the perils of taking drugs and substances and excess alcohol consumption, and clearly explains the kinds of behaviours that can be viewed as harassment, discrimination, or victimisation. Because we really don’t want to be dealing with any fallout from that over the Christmas hols.

4. A Bulletproof Social Media Policy

Christmas parties are full of cheer, but also alcohol, and in the heat of the moment, arguments can break out, harsh words or claims can be shared, unwanted advances can be made, and suddenly we have a ‘no good, very bad’ situation! Even worse if, once the party is over, these situations continue down the pub and onto social media etc. Cyberbullying and online harassment is very real. Honestly though, most employees are excellent people and would never dream of using their social media for anything other than the forces of good, but we can never be too careful. So just in case, an excellent guide to creating a social media policy (to go along with our bullying and harassment policies) that protects our company from defamatory posts, and protects our employees from potential discrimination or harassment online, so we never have to go down the investigatory or disciplinary route, would be fab. Phew!

5. A Conscientious Team That Can Hold Its Beverages AND Make It Into Work The Next Day

Now Santa, we’re sure you’ve had the odd evening where you’ve had one too many sherries, resulting in a less-than-jolly headache in the morning, but we can see from your overwhelming success every year that it clearly doesn’t stop you from making it down to your workshop and inspiring your team to get the work done. Through our Employment Contracts, we let our employees know what is expected of them, and the consequences that can occur from violating workplace rules, such an unauthorised absences, for example. This festive season, we wouldn’t want to have to deduct from any employees’ pay or take disciplinary action against them. So, could you sprinkle some magic on our team to ensure this is something even they don’t have to worry about?

We could go on, but this will be great for now. Thanking you so much in advance. And we promise, we have been very good all year. Well, most of us……

Best wishes…
AnyCompany & Co. Ltd
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This month’s blog post is all in fun, but we hope it will have shared some of the real issues and considerations employers need to be aware of as the festive season approaches and we think about Christmas parties.

If any of the items on this wishlist effect your company personally, or you’d like further guidance as to how to address those matters, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

From all of us at Su Allen HR, we wish you very warm season’s greetings.