It has been a year since the allegations against Harvey Weinstein gave the #MeToo movement new impetus – but if you thought this was only a problem for Hollywood moguls – then you may need to think again - there is still a “high level” of tolerance for harassment in the workplace.


At this time of year when Alcohol, and Christmas Parties are added in to the mix, it is more important than ever to ensure that you have policies, procedures and training in place to ensure that all your staff are protected.

Some initial actions that can be taken are: -

  • issue a communication to staff to remind them that the Christmas party is an extension of the work place and their conduct should reflect that. Pairing this with your policies on bullying and harassment, equality and diversity is also essential to ensuring employees are aware of their boundaries.
  • The introduction of alcohol does change the perspective of employees who might behave impeccably whilst sober and at work but has a serious effect on their judgement at a party when boundaries appeared blurred. Whilst you can prepare and train staff as much as is reasonably possible, it’s difficult to control behaviour at the party itself. Other than banning alcohol, which is likely to stop half of your employees from attending, it can be difficult to manage on the night.
  • It’s important to ensure that everyone is comfortable and does not appear to be in an awkward or unwanted situation. If such a situation should arise you should take action immediately, reminding both parties what is and isn’t acceptable behaviour in a workplace environment. A quick word in the ear can often be all it takes to prevent a situation from crossing the line into something more serious although it may still be wise to follow that up in office hours to ensure that there are no concerns arising from the situation.
  • Removing mistletoe so there is no temptation for lecherous lunging at an office crush is another suggestion.
  • There is always a balance between being a Christmas kill joy and allowing a free for all but it’s still possible to have fun as long as staff are prepared and trained. At the end of the day, employees are adults and should be expected to behave as such, respecting each other’s’ boundaries whilst still enjoying the spirit of the season…….

If I can be of further assistance in this, please contact me