As per usual, many of the businesses are preparing for their Christmas parties, and discussing worker’s bonuses. The merriment that accompanies both these items is often marred, and leads to disciplinary issues.

The Christmas parties often involve alcohol and a spirit of “letting down one’s hair.” Often alcohol coupled with a party and the extra money, leads to inappropriate behaviour. This behaviour manifests itself in the working environment every year. Every year I get involved with disciplinary hearings which often lead to dismissal. All employees need to be informed that the disciplinary code is still applicable whether you are at a Christmas party or behind your desk.

Furthermore, arguments about bonuses often lead to animosity, and can lead to a breakdown in the employment relationship. A bonus relationship is governed by a Letter of Appointment or the terms and conditions of employment. There is no entitlement to a bonus, over and above the Letter of Appointment. If your terms and conditions of employment are silent, then this is done at management’s discretion. It does not help to enter into an argument with regard thereto. 

Michael Bagraim