dos and don'ts for the holiday season

Given the Christmas period is just around the corner, we would advise our members to start preparation early to take as much stress out of the silly season as possible. To help you get ready this year we have set out a list of the key do’s and don'ts for employers to avoid any HR headaches...



  • Prepare in advance for salary reviews by benchmarking internal salaries and bonus arrangements against the market norm. The SFA Salary Report 2017 will be useful in getting up to speed with wage trends, inflation and cost of living indicators.
  • Remember to review the rules of your bonus scheme to take account of whether employees absent on protective leave or sick leave qualify for all or part of the bonus.
  • Circulate any corporate gifts policy that applies in the organisation.
  • Brief everyone about shutdown and working days in advance. If the business plans to close over the Christmas period and employees are required to take holidays at certain times, this should already have been communicated.
  • If some staff are required to work over the Christmas break, make sure to have set up a fair allocation system.
  • Ensure that you calculate your employees’ entitlements to public holiday benefits over Christmas and New Year correctly.
  • Strike the right balance for Christmas corporate social events. Ensure that employees feel rewarded for their contribution to the company throughout the year but be sure to remind them at the planning stage of the standards expected and the type of behaviour that is unacceptable.


  • Allow year end performance appraisals to slip off the agenda just because one or other party isn’t motivated to do the appraisal. Managers may need to drive the process to ensure meetings happen and development plans are produced.
  • Forget to re-schedule performance appraisals for absent workers – including those on protective leave to happen on their return to the workplace.
  • Forget to be vigilant about the employment rights of any seasonal workers and young persons hired to cover the Christmas period or January sales.

For further information, you can listen back to the SFA webinar on planning for the Christmas period which covers this topic. For specific queries on the above you can contact Helen Quinn, SFA Executive, on or 016051668

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In this issue
SFA E-Zine – The Tuesday Edition
Recent press coverage
dos and don'ts for the holiday season
Going for Growth – application deadline 8 December
Is your business GDPR ready?
Report of the SFA AGM and outcome of election to the SFA National Council
SFA National Small Business Awards 2018 - finalists announced
SFA Members Christmas Evening 2017
Save the date - SFA Business Connect
Last chance to book: Project Management and Performance Management training courses