From the TUC

Are you a Non Safe Festive Worker?

07 Dec 2015, By

Christmas parties at work are a great chance to let our hair down, and to see a different side of the people we spend more time with than our own families. But they can also wreck the work relationships you’ve spent the rest of the year building up. Like Santa, the closer many of us get to Christmas, the closer we get to ending up with the sack.

In a new YouGov poll for the TUC, more than one in ten (11%) who have attended a work Christmas party in the past admit they’ve embarrassed themselves in front of their boss. A not entirely surprising 40% say they’ve got drunk at a works Xmas bash, with the two findings possibly not unconnected.

Santa’s naughty list goes on:

  • 9% of Xmas work party revellers have thrown up.
  • 8% ended up revealing something embarrassing about themselves to a colleague.
  • 27% of younger workers (18-24) admitted to staging a dance-off against a co-worker, something their older colleagues were much less likely to try (or at least admit to trying).

It’s the season of peace and goodwill, but still every year trade union reps get reports of problems at Christmas parties that could have been avoided with a little planning and forethought.

Employers can do a lot to make a party safer and inclusive. That’s somewhere that workplace unions can play the role of wise men (and women), by highlighting issues like making sure all staff can attend (and making an effort to recognise any whose work commitments won’t let them) or making sure any costs are affordable for lower paid staff.  If it’s to be held in the workplace, union safety reps will be helpful advisors on things like late security arrangements and potential problems in a space not designed for parties.

And by taking a bit of time to plan their route home, or maybe thinking twice before any tipsy tweets or sozzled selfies, staff can help keep themselves, and their work relationships, safe. No one wants to make a fool of themselves in front of colleagues – or worse, do something that will get them sacked at Christmas.

If you want to know your own Xmas party risk level, why not check the quick (and not entirely serious) Non-Safe Festive Workers quiz on our advice website workSMART?

Take the quiz now