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Now they want us to cancel Christmas parties?!


Workplaces should forgo their usual office Christmas celebrations this year in order to ensure every employee feels included, a diversity group has said.

Watch This Space issued advice on how to host a Christmas party that caters to all employees’ tastes and beliefs.

The group highlighted that there are employees that do not celebrate Christmas, as well as those who do not drink.

“Some people celebrate other festivals, some people don’t celebrate at all. So if you’re an employer organising Christmas parties for all employees, are you throwing a party everyone can be part of? And are people given the choice not to attend at all?,” the group wrote in a blog post on its website.

It mentioned the excessive drinking that usually takes place at festive parties, and that these events could exclude people who do not drink.

Watch This Space said: “If you bring people together, provide free alcohol and a party atmosphere it can lead to things going wrong. Most people have a horror story about accidents, injuries, bullying or bad behaviour at an work social event.

“These events can lead to exclusionary behaviour, harassment, people falling over or getting injured. Sometimes there are things that happen which lead to embarrassment in the workplace afterwards. They can lead to people feeling totally excluded from the so called ‘fun’ event too.”

Watch This Space said that for people who do not drink, these events can be ostracising.

They suggested hosting events such as bowling or an escape room as a possible alternative.

The inclusionary consultancy also encouraged bosses to organise a beach clean-up, to bring “people together for social causes”.

“Belief days” could be implemented in the working calendar, the diversity group said.

This would include offering employees the opportunities to learn about different beliefs and cultures.

Festivities across the UK have been scarce this year, as many events and celebrations have been scrapped by councils.

Most recently, Brighton axed its annual Christmas market, after the city failed to find a partner to finance the annual event.

Up and down the country, many Christmas light switch-on events have also been axed.

Large cities such as Sheffield and Manchester have cancelled their events, with both councils stating there is “no safe or suitable location” in the city centres for the celebrations.

Smaller towns have also binned the events. Braintree in Essex announced back in August that the lights would not be publicly switched on.