Christmas in the Workplace


Your most common questions answered

Croner, our HR partner, reveal the most common employer queries and what to do about them. For any further proactive or reactive advice, call 0844 561 8133 and quote the NPA membership number.

What’s the Fairest Way to Manage Holiday Requests?

With annual leave requests likely to be concentrated around the same days, the best approach is to have a written policy. This should detail your right to refuse requests if they do not suit the needs of your business, and set a precedent for clashing employee requests - the most common approach being a first come first served basis.

What Happens if an Employee Insists on Taking Holiday?

Workers must give notice equal to or more than twice the length of the holiday they intend to take. Should they  disregard the rejection of a holiday request and take leave without approval, you must follow the proper steps including investigations and interviews, taking the view that this could be an unauthorised absence.

Should I have a Policy on Christmas Workplace Social Events?

Regardless of size, every business should really have a policy of this nature and set boundaries where behaviour is concerned.

Do I have to Host a Christmas Party?

Christmas parties are not an obligation. Having said this, a majority of employers consider it best practice to host some form of Christmas celebration.

Am I responsible for what happens during our Christmas party?

There is, unfortunately, no black and white ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer. Should an incident escalate to a tribunal, all circumstances and factors of a situation will be considered to determine the answer.

Do Christmas Decorations in the Workplace Really Pose any Risk?

It’s important to exercise care when hanging decorations. Simply follow sensible precautions - buy lights with safety marks on the packaging; check for obvious signs of damage; follow the manufacturer's instructions; keep them clear of flammable materials and remember to turn them off at the end of each day.

Minimum Workplace Temperature: Is it a Myth?

There is no specific temperature stated in legislation regarding a minimum temperature in the workplace. However, it is stated that temperature should be ‘reasonable’ during working hours. For sedentary workers, guidance by HSE suggests a minimum temperature of 16 degrees.

Am I Legally Required to Clear Snow from the Premises?

As an employer, it is your duty to ensure that your workplace is as safe as is ‘reasonably practicable’. To adhere to this, you must take steps to at least reduce any risk, such as sectioning off any unsafe areas or clearing snow.