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More than one in ten (11 per cent) workers who have attended a work Christmas party admit embarrassing themselves in front of their boss, according to new polling published by the TUC today (Monday).

date: Friday 4 December 2015
embargo: 00.01hrs Monday 7 December 2015

More than one in ten (11 per cent) workers who have attended a work Christmas party admit embarrassing themselves in front of their boss, according to new polling published by the TUC today (Monday).

The poll, carried out for the TUC by YouGov, also reveals that two in five (40 per cent) employees who have attended a work Christmas party have got drunk at their work Christmas do, with men (45 per cent) more likely to over-indulge than women (35 per cent).

The survey finds that, of those who have attended a work Christmas party:
• One in 11 (9 per cent) workers has thrown up.
• One in 12 (8 per cent) employees has revealed something embarrassing about themselves to a colleague.
• More than a quarter (27 per cent) of 18-24 year-olds have had a dance off with a co-worker, compared to only 8 per cent of workers aged 25-39, 4 per cent aged 40-49 and 3 per cent who are 60 and over.

The polling comes as the TUC it publishes its tips for a fuss-free festive bash today. For many the work Christmas party is a chance for workers to let their hair down over a few drinks with their colleagues. But every year trade union reps get reports of problems at Christmas parties that could have been avoided with a little planning and forethought.

To make sure the Christmas party is remembered for all the right reasons, the TUC makes the following suggestions to employers:

If you’re going to charge staff to come to the party, make sure it’s something all staff can afford, and don’t make people feel bad if they don’t want to come along. Whilst some staff will be happy to pay more for an extravagant celebration, it may be better to scale it back a little so everyone can enjoy it.
Ensure there are plenty of non-alcoholic drinks available for people who don’t drink and those wanting a break from the booze.

The Christmas party isn’t the right time for managers to start talking about staff performance or other serious HR issues – keep it light and friendly.

Look into travel arrangements so that everyone gets home safely. If you can, think about laying on transport home or at least provide the times of the last train and phone numbers for reputable local cab companies.

Staff also have a big part to play in ensuring Christmas festivities go well. To make sure you make the most of the chance to let your hair down with your colleagues, the TUC suggests that workers:

• Resist the temptation to complain about colleagues or ask your boss for a pay rise. Save these big conversations for office hours!
• Be careful not to say or do anything which upsets or insults anyone if you are emboldened with ‘Christmas cheer’.
• Resist posting embarrassing pictures of your boss or your colleagues on Facebook and Twitter.
• Consider booking a day’s leave after the party if you think you may be too tired to work.

TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said: “Christmas parties are a great way to celebrate a year’s hard work and let your hair down with colleagues.

“However, workers and bosses need to remember that they are still in a work setting. No one wants to make a fool of themselves in front of colleagues – or worse, do something that will get them sacked at Christmas. Use your common sense and have a happy and safe night.”

- All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. The total sample size was 1,695 adults, of which 1,406 had been to a work Christmas party. Fieldwork was undertaken between 25 and 26th November 2015.  The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).
- All TUC press releases can be found at
- Follow the TUC on Twitter: @The_TUC and follow the TUC press team @tucnews

Media enquiries:
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