Irish employers warned to "consider other options" for staff Christmas parties 8 months ago

Irish employers warned to "consider other options" for staff Christmas parties

It could be another Zoom Christmas...

Employers are being advised to reconsider their staff Christmas party plans in the lead up to the festive season.

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The recommendation comes from Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development Ireland, a professional body for HR and people development.

The suggested alternatives are to host the party online, to gather in smaller groups or to defer the party to a later date.

The recommendations arrive as Government looks to advise working from home full time from Friday onwards (19 November).

CIPD Ireland director Mary Connaughton said that health and safety must be the number one priority for both employers and employees.

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"While many of us were hoping to be able to host an in-person celebration this year, the repeated advice to reduce ‘risk activities’ and rising coronavirus cases are all factors that are making it more difficult to plan a traditional event," she said.

"Making the move to a virtual gathering, for example, would support employees to prioritise celebrating Christmas as safely as possible with their families and loved ones, without missing out on the workplace event”.

The organisation is also asking that employers provide more time off for employees to improve their wellbeing.

“Fatigue is a real issue in workplaces around the country as we’ve been working hard to keep each other safe for almost two years", Connaughton said.

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"Scheduling extra leave to acknowledge the efforts that have been made would go a long way towards showing appreciation for workers’ efforts to date”.

CIPD is recommending that employers follow government guidance, and to confirm their working practices as soon as possible to provide clarity and reassurance to the team.

Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly had made similar recommendations last week, asking that employees reconsider attending Christmas parties if they were "doing a lot of other things".