Brit office Xmas parties going to the dogs

Bah humbug attitude killing festive joy

The classic Brit office Xmas party - once an annual drunken orgy of bacchanalian photocopier room rumpy-pumpy and explaining to the boss exactly why he's a tosser - is under serious threat, according to a Chartered Management Institute (CMI) survey.

As the Telegraph explains, "fears that workers could sue over other employees' drunken antics and a prevailing 'Scrooge' mentality" are putting the kibosh on the Yule festivities, and one third of firms won't have a party at all this year - twice as many as in 2002.

Worse still, among those firms who will be holding a get-together, less than half will open their wallets for employees to get legless.

The CMI probe of 500 managers also revealed that staff show "increasing indifference" towards the knees-up, with more than half of pollees reckoning the atmosphere is "forced". A fifth described the whole thing as "a chore" while a third condemned an excess of "political correctness".

CMI's director of marketing and corporate affairs, Jo Causon, lamented: "The idea that individuals and employers don't allow themselves to unwind at Christmas is extremely disappointing, especially in the light of evidence suggesting that taking time out enables you to recharge your batteries."

On the bright side, Causon applauded the fact that "more than half of managers give gifts to colleagues and 45 per cent send Christmas cards", adding: "It is good to see that people are saying 'thank you' and are prepared to make an effort to recognise hard work."

Those among you who are intending to throw a Xmas bash this year are reminded that employers "can now be held liable if they fail to protect staff from harassment or discrimination, including on the grounds of religious belief" and "could be held liable if an employee who is drunk at the firm's expense has a car accident".

In summary, then, it's a couple of alcohol-free lagers each while not discussing the size of the receptionist's Bulgarian airbags or the marketing chap's todger, followed by a taxi home. Happy Xmas. ®

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