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 yesterday.
The 2,043 employers polled by recruitment firm Peninsula said they were forced to cancel the annual festive knees-up to cut costs.
Some 71pc of bosses also say Christmas parties are simply a waste of company money; while 68pc 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,” said Peninsula head Alan Price.
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 the parties 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.