Springhouse managing partner, Ben Power spotted a trend this festive season – employers doing away with the staff Christmas party. So if you were denied your annual yuletide entertainment, you were not alone! It’s very unlikely though that staff have any legal entitlement to such a benefit, despite the fact that employers enjoy a generous tax break for staff entertainment.
It was only a matter of time
The writing has been on the wall for a few years now, as employers have increasingly sought to control the legal risks of Christmas at work, with HR sending around lists of “dos and don’ts” for weeks beforehand. It seems likely that the #MeToo movement last year was the final nail in the coffin.
Growing liabilities for employers
The potentially toxic mix of plentiful alcohol and reduced inhibitions at seasonal, staff social events is fertile ground for misplaced humour or unwanted touching – leading to legal liability for discrimination or sexual harassment for employers.
London newspaper, City AM published Ben’s article on the subject on 18 December under the title, “Have you got a scrooge loose at work?“. Read the full article for more discussion of the subject.