We looked earlier in the week at
the limits on gift giving and receiving allowed under the Bribery Act. Today we will look at another increasingly
common form of gift giving, Secret Santa.
Many offices now have a Secret
Santa where staff buy their colleagues small gifts anonymously. A brief google search of ‘Secret Santa
presents for colleagues’ came up with ideas from novelty chocolate items
resembling body parts, skimpy lingerie and chill pill sweets. Given the anonymous nature of the game it may
be tempting to purchase a gift of this nature.
Although such gifts may be taken in good humour, they may well offend
the recipient. If they do, it is
important to take any complaints seriously and deal with them under your
harassment and disciplinary procedures.
Failure to do so could leave you with a discrimination claim to deal
with in the New Year.
In order to avoid such
problems, before Santa distributes his presents, employees should be told the
rules of the game. No gifts of a sexual, religious, obscene or offensive nature
should be allowed. Employees should be
encouraged to discuss their present idea with a manager or HR if they are unsure.