It’s that time of the year again.

The year end party season is about to start. As always in January there will be the fallout from photocopier incidents or worse, physical or sexual assaults on fellow employees as a result of too much drink.

However, employers please remember if there are parties funded by the company the employer is still responsible for the conduct of their staff. Employers should be aware of potential harassment and discrimination claims that could arise from colleagues making inappropriate and offensive comments or worse, at parties once the drinks start flowing, or otherwise. There is no such thing as harmless banter.

Remember you can’t force an employee to attend. Employers should respect cultural and religious differences amongst their staff and must not penalise or discriminate against them should they be unwilling to join in.

To avoid any queries about employee status only employees not workers or subcontractors should be invited to a company organised event.

Enjoy the celebrations stay safe.