The office Christmas party is traditionally a time when employees are at their most relaxed; especially when the consumption of alcohol is on the cards. As a result of this, a number of potentially difficult issues can arise for employers.
Our Employment Solicitor Alex Pearce has rounded up his top tips for employers during the festive period to ensure that the Christmas cheer is evident for everyone.
Does a suspended employee have the right to attend the office Christmas party?
The simple answer is maybe. Employers should give careful thought as to the reason why the individual was suspended in the first place. Does that reason justify said individual being required to remain away from the Christmas party which is, after all, a work social event? If the individual is in a customer-facing role and was suspended because of an external customer complaint, which was generally not related to his conduct, then the employer may have little or no grounds to justify asking the individual to stay away from a social event. Equally, if an allegation of harassment has been made, then it would be reasonable for the employer to take a view that the suspended employee shouldn’t attend the office Christmas party, or indeed attend any other social event connected with their employment.