Are you looking forward to it? Black Eye Friday is just a fortnight away and this is a gentle reminder that getting steaming on the 20th may have long-term repercussions for your career.
The last Friday before Christmas is also known as Mad Friday – and with reason. Many a company will be holding its office party on that day and workers often see it as a chance to get as p*ssed as possible when the bosses are footing the bill.
But Sean Joyce, head of regulatory and criminal justice at Stephensons Solicitors LLP, warns: “Don’t get into alcohol-fuelled strife at the work Christmas party. Mad Friday, also known as Black Eye Friday, is one of the most notorious drinking days of the year. It’s the culmination of the working year and a time when staff in every workplace up and down the country want to let their hair down and celebrate the Christmas break.
“However, a night of drinking can cause alcohol-fuelled problems and some workers can become easily riled and aggressive, which can lead to arguments with colleagues or strangers. Judgements become clouded and this can result in fighting, anti-social behaviour, unwelcome advances and attacks by both male and female employees.”
He adds: “Legally, Christmas parties are an extension of the working environment, which means employers can be held liable for the criminal behaviour of employees. Staff on Mad Friday need to bear in mind that they are representing their company, even if they are partying off-site, out of hours.
“Ahead of the festivities we advise employers to make sure staff are aware of the company policy surrounding the Christmas party – outlining expected standards of behaviour, providing specific examples of what is deemed unacceptable and highlighting actions that could result in disciplinary action.
“It’s a similar story for New Year’s Eve revellers, arrests for first-time offenders spike in January. At Stephensons we have seen criminal cases increase in January by 113% over the past two years.”
So, we at London Inspire say: “Enjoy the office Christmas party. But, don’t wake up the next day with regrets – or a black eye!”