Re­mem­ber, don’t ha­rass col­leagues at the of­fice party

The Daily Telegraph - - News - By Olivia Rudgard SO­CIAL AF­FAIRS COR­RE­SPON­DENT

COM­PA­NIES should warn staff not to sex­u­ally ha­rass each other at Christ­mas par­ties, unions have said.

The Trades Union Congress said bosses should send out emails ahead of Christ­mas events re­mind­ing their staff of the ap­pro­pri­ate way to be­have.

Ac­cord­ing to its fig­ures, one in seven vic­tims of sex­ual harassment say it took place at a work so­cial event, in­clud­ing one in five women who are em­ployed by small busi­nesses.

The TUC sug­gests that em­ploy­ers “send an email to staff in ad­vance of the party about the stan­dard of be­hav­iour that is ex­pected of them. Re­mind them the party is still a work set­ting so nor­mal com­pany rules on be­hav­iour will ap­ply”.

Par­ties should also of­fer plenty of non-al­co­holic drinks for peo­ple “want­ing a break from the booze,” it said, and em­ploy­ees could also be handed num­bers for cab com­pa­nies to make sure they get home safely.

Bosses should also “treat any com­plaints fol­low­ing the Christ­mas party se­ri­ously and take ac­tion im­me­di­ately, car­ry­ing out a full in­ves­ti­ga­tion if nec­es­sary,” it added.

Frances O’grady, TUC gen­eral sec­re­tary, said: “Many of us look for­ward to the tra­di­tional work Christ­mas party as a chance to wind down and cel­e­brate with col­leagues. But work­ers and bosses should re­mem­ber that they are still in a work set­ting. No­body wants to of­fend an­other mem­ber of staff – or worse do some­thing that might get them sacked just be­fore Christ­mas.”

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