The time may have come where HR departments have begun to busily prepare for the work Christmas party, but it is the duty of employers to inform employees of their responsibilities at such celebrations, the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) has claimed.
Ben Wilmott, senior public policy adviser for the CIPD, said it was important the staff were advised they could face disciplinary action if their behaviour is unacceptable at such a party.
"[Workers] potentially could fall foul of the law if incidents of sexual harassment for example, or any other form of discrimination [take place] which could be occupational bullying," he added.
Mr Wilmott stated that employees should be reminded to be as responsible for their actions at a Christmas party as they would be during the course of their normal working day.
And in order to avoid unnecessary drunken behaviour, he advised that managers or a HR team make plenty of food and soft drinks available.
James Wilders, an employment law partner at national law firm Dickinson Dees, recently warned that UK employers could face sizeable compensation claims if they fail to protect themselves sufficiently ahead of seasonal office parties.