It turns out you could be sacked if you get too drunk at your work Christmas party. Uh oh.

You’re going to want to watch out this festive period as it turns out that you really could be sacked if you act like too much of a prat on company time.

Bad news for me, as apparently we’re supposed to watch our backs on the old drinking front this Christmas in front of work.

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The Hook Christmas party is fast approaching – next weekend in fact – and as I understood, it’s one of those places where anything goes. Somewhere where I can do what I like, maybe slap the CEO, pinch Josh’s arse and embezzle company funds, but it turns out that I was wrong.

Technicalities show that while work Christmas parties and trips are more laidback, they absolutely are on work time and you’re liable for any consequences of your actions.

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For instance, if you’re a huge fan of, I don’t know, kicking dogs, then if you do that in your own time you probably couldn’t get sacked unless there was a relevant stipulation in your contract. Meanwhile, if you kick a dog on your work Christmas party, you’re still technically on work time, so you could be sacked for your actions.

Priya Cunningham, an employment lawyer at Watermans Solicitors, told the Daily Record:

The employer needs to bear in mind reputational damage to their business when considering an employee’s conduct on a night out.

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Bosses are also vicariously liable for their employees’ actions. If an employee assaults someone on a night out, leaving them with a life changing injury – such as brain damage – the employer may also be liable for their actions.

It’s important to get advice from our employment law specialist if you’re facing the sack after your Christmas work doo.”

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work christmas party

With new employee rights though, it actually very hard to just sack someone without being taken to a tribunal. The only times employers can really get away with a sacking that isn’t pre-warned is if the person in question has conducted gross misconduct on company time. And yes, Christmas parties count as company time.

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What counts as Gross Misconduct at work?

  1. Physical violence or bullying
  2. Theft
  3. Unlawful discrimination
  4. Causing loss or damage through negligence
  5. Serious health and safety violations
  6. Serious incapacity at work due to alcohol or drugs

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So yes, technically, getting too pissed is a sackable offence at your Christmas party.

Your boss would have to be a proper dick to enforce that one though.

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I mean you know your boss better than I do. You can probably gage what their response would be before you decide to down the several bottles of Lambrini that someone decided to get in.

With all of that said, your employer needs evidence to support the accusations of gross misconduct so I don’t know, maybe you could get away with it.

Just don’t be an idiot.

Images via Getty