Four in five Irish bosses will not pay for a Christmas party this year because they have to tighten their belts amid the economic downturn, a survey said today.
The 2,043 employers polled in the first three weeks of October by recruitment firm Peninsula said they were forced to cancel the annual festive knees-up to cut costs.
Some 71% of bosses also say Christmas parties are simply a waste of company money while 68% reported getting a complaint of harassment from an employee afterwards.
“Ebenezer Scrooge is alive and well in the workplace as Irish bosses blame the economic downturn and cancel their Christmas party, bringing festive gloom,” said Peninsula head Alan Price.
“Firms who have been forced to make people redundant may also consider spending money on a Christmas party inappropriate as well as detrimental to the streamlining plan they are implementing in their business.”
Mr Price continues: “Christmas parties always seem to be marred with incidents and Irish employers are now realising that this is the case and are worried about what may happen on the night.”
The Small Firms Association said Christmas parties were another business expense that may be cut to protect the bottom line.
“If there has been a number of redundancies in recent months, then companies may not feel that holding a Christmas party is appropriate,” said SFA assistant director Avine McNally.
“On the other hand, managers may use them to boost morale and reward hard work during the year.”
She added: “Some Christmas parties can be very extravagant while others are more low-key. Without doing a Scrooge on it, it is another company expense that may be cut during these times.”
Peninsula’s Mr Price agreed that Christmas parties can be an effective way to encourage staff to bond as a team and often bring them closer together.
“They also have a noticeable impact on staff morale, something that employers need to keep on top of during this period of economic uncertainty,” he said.
But he added: “Employees should bear in mind that Christmas parties are not a contractual right and should take into account the current state of the economy.”
Peninsula said the survey was carried out via a telephone poll of several Irish industries between October 1-20.