Christmas is coming, and along with it comes work Christmas parties which are often a bit of a minefield when it comes to HR issues.

A survey carried out by the TUC (Trade Union Congress) reveals interesting statistics as to the proportion of employees who let themselves down at a Christmas party. In particular 11% of those taking part in the survey admit to having embarrassed themselves in front of their bosses.

One of the more alarming issues raised is not only that 9% of employees have thrown up at a party, but have actually admitted it in the survey!

On a serious note, employment law has viewed work Christmas parties as an extension of the workplace, as they are work events organised by management. This is the case even if the party is held at a different location to the workplace and outside normal working hours. 

This works both ways, as employees can be disciplined by their employer (and even dismissed in serious circumstances) for their misconduct at a work party, and employers can also be held vicariously liable for their employees' actions. It is therefore the responsibility of all involved to ensure a party goes smoothly to avoid any awkward disciplinary and grievance meetings later.