What can an employer do about it if someone gets carried away at Christmas and starts photocopying certain parts of their anatomy on the office machine?
Many organisations find themselves with just such problems on their hands, according to employment and training organisation Acas.
Its helpline gets hundreds of calls every festive period.
Q: What if an employee who has clearly drunk too much at the office Christmas party is planning to drive home. It's not your responsibility is it?
A: Wrong. As an employer you have a "duty of care" for your employees. So as it's the company's party you need to take some responsibility. Think about travel arrangements and maybe end the party before public transport stops running. Or provide the phone number for local cab companies and encourage employees to use them.
Q: How can you make sure people don't get too drunk and fail to turn up for work the day after the party?
A: Make sure there are plenty of non-alcoholic drinks and enough food. Before the party ensure that all staff are aware that disciplinary action could be taken if they fail to arrive next day and there is reason to believe it is due to too much booze.
Q: What if an employee suffers verbal abuse about being gay at the local pub before the party - it's not on work premises so it's a matter for them isn't it?
A: Wrong. Going to the pub before the office party counts as an extension of work and so all the laws covering discrimination still apply. Make sure the company has policies in place on bullying and harassment and discrimination and that everyone knows what they are.
Q: What if you can't afford to pay a Christmas bonus this year although you have paid it for the last ten years. Employees will be disappointed but there's no problem with the law is there?
A: Wrong. Even though the bonus is discretionary staff can argue that it has become contractual through custom and practice. Before deciding not to pay tell staff why you feel unable to pay it and try to agree a solution. You could offer to pay a proportion of the bonus or stagger payments in the next few months. Or you could offer to pay the drinks bill at the party!
Noel Lambert, assistant director of Acas, which has its West Midlands operations in Birmingham, said: " If companies have policies and procedures in place which cover discipline and grievance, bullying and harassment, discrimination and absence they are in a much better position to handle these sorts of issues, which can happen at any time.
"But don't let potential hazards put you off organising something. Staff will feel valued if you treat them right."