Figuring out the holiday season

Employers should tread carefully and be inclusive, say experts
By Marcel Vander Wier
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 12/12/2016
A greater focus on diversity and inclusion can make the Christmas season more of a challenge — but workplace celebrations are still worthwhile, say experts. Credit: Marcel Vander Wier

Immortalized in song as the “most wonderful time of the year,” in actuality the Christmas season can be a difficult scenario for employers to navigate through.

“The whole holiday season is a bit of a minefield,” said Stuart Rudner, employment lawyer at Toronto’s Rudner MacDonald. “Whether it’s allegations that you’re disrespecting some people by not acknowledging their holidays, or the holiday party itself… a lot of organizations have learned from other people’s mistakes.”

Holding staff parties in late December can be used to celebrate organizational accomplishments and the hard work employees have logged throughout the year. Yet, troubles remain in terms of office etiquette surrounding Christmas decorations, toy drives or employee gift exchanges.