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All I want for Christmas… is no HR issues!

So we’ve had the Christmas party, it was all going so well until Santa got drunk and got a bit fruity with his Elf (shhhh code for co-worker). Santa’s boss was there, watched on and did nothing about this, in fact found it quite funny.

You may laugh, but it’s all too common a situation. So what do you do when the Christmas party fall out lands on your desk?

  1. I’d suggest that you are about to have a very long morning, so take a deep breath, grab a coffee and don’t over react in the first instance.
  2. You are going to have to investigate this so don’t jump to suspending Santa until you know the facts. Yes it could be sexual harassment but it could equally be an office relationship coming out of the woodwork!
  3. First port of call, speak to the Elf in private and explain that news of the Christmas party incident has reached you and ask for their comments. Establish if this was an inappropriate incident and if there is a complaint so that you can determine whether formal action is required. Where appropriate take written statements.
  4. Interview Santa and Santa’s boss, establish their accounts of the incident, what happened, why and also why the boss allowed this to happen. Also consider if there are any other witnesses who you need to speak with.
  5. Have another coffee (this is important), review all of the evidence to determine the best course of action.
  6. If it was an office romance blossoming then review policy on workplace relationships and have appropriate conversation about there being a time and a place… Kissing under the workplace mistletoe probably isn’t it!
  7. Sadly though, if Santa has been inappropriate, work out how best to protect Elf and evaluate whether suspension is the most appropriate action prior to a full disciplinary investigation/proceedings (this will be case specific!).
  8. Unfortunately, you will also need to consider whether Santa’s boss acted appropriately in the circumstances and consider if any action is required for failing to protect the Elf.
  9. Remind everyone of the duty of confidentiality and check your policies.

Most importantly, deal with matters like this swiftly and don’t let incidents like this spoil the festive spirits in the workplace. This is a fun time of year for everyone, a great opportunity to boost morale in the workplace and thank staff for their hard work during the year.

If matters like this feel just too awkward for you to deal with then please don’t hesitate to contact us on 01425 205390 or at and we can discreetly come in and take the burden away from you. Have a very happy December!