The Christmas challenge

Published:  20 December, 2012

Employment law consultancy Peninsula Business Services is handling an average 21,400 calls a week from clients during December many from bosses seeking guidance on a festive matters, ranging from how to deal with staff sending crude gifts or making unwanted advances to their colleagues, to fights at Christmas parties and staff taking time off to buy presents.

Seasonal calls received by its call centre include:

  • An employee has called in absent because they need to collect their turkey and Christmas shopping ¥ Some employees have been exchanging crude and inappropriate gifts, including handcuffs
  • Two employees started fighting at the Christmas party and were escorted off the premises. Is this a work issue or not?
  • Some employees have been showing up late from their lunch hour as they were doing their Christmas shopping. Can I make them stay late to make up the time?
  • A colleague tried to kiss me at the Christmas party. It got very awkward. Can I move them to another department?

Alan Price, director at Peninsula, said: "While Christmas is the time of year when many companies relax rules, it can also turn sour for many bosses. There is no harm having fun at Christmas, providing it continues to be business as usual. It is at this time of the year when robust human resources policies are essential."

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