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  • FIRST POST
    moneypuddle
    Christmas Party - Hotel - Snow
    • #1
    • 14th Dec 10, 11:06 AM
    Christmas Party - Hotel - Snow 14th Dec 10 at 11:06 AM

    Hello all

    Just wanted a little advice really and some other people’s views.

    It was my work christmas party a few weeks ago. There are four staff in my office and we travelled to another office where the majority of our staff are based for our xmas do – approx a 2.5 hour train journey from home for the four of us. The weather was pretty bad (snow) before we left but we got down there ok. The xmas party was not optional so we all had no choice but to go. I had told my manager I was concerned about travelling down there and didn’t want to get stuck but she laughed it off. The morning after the do, we woke to horrendous snow and the found the trains were called off. We had no way of getting home, and with the trains called off we had another two nights in the hotel - £120/night each.

    The hotel was booked for the xmas do night in advance and paid for by the company. When we found we had to stay extra nights we were told the company would pay as it was not our fault that we were stuck away from home. Very nice of them I thought and didn't seek alternative places to stay.

    However this week, my manager told us that actually she doesn’t think its feasible for the company to pay it and we will be re-charged. I am really annoyed. There is no way I would stay in a £120/night hotel if I had known. I would have tried to get a travel lodge type room for half the price. I genuinely can’t afford to pay the £240 they are requesting with it being close to xmas and feel very annoyed that they told us they would pay, then withdrew the offer once it was too late.

    Any thoughts? Opinions? Am I being unreasonable?

    Thanks
Page 1
  • Uncertain
    • #2
    • 14th Dec 10, 11:17 AM
    • #2
    • 14th Dec 10, 11:17 AM
    Hello all

    Just wanted a little advice really and some other people’s views.

    It was my work christmas party a few weeks ago. There are four staff in my office and we travelled to another office where the majority of our staff are based for our xmas do – approx a 2.5 hour train journey from home for the four of us. The weather was pretty bad (snow) before we left but we got down there ok. The xmas party was not optional so we all had no choice but to go. I had told my manager I was concerned about travelling down there and didn’t want to get stuck but she laughed it off. The morning after the do, we woke to horrendous snow and the found the trains were called off. We had no way of getting home, and with the trains called off we had another two nights in the hotel - £120/night each.

    The hotel was booked for the xmas do night in advance and paid for by the company. When we found we had to stay extra nights we were told the company would pay as it was not our fault that we were stuck away from home. Very nice of them I thought and didn't seek alternative places to stay.

    However this week, my manager told us that actually she doesn’t think its feasible for the company to pay it and we will be re-charged. I am really annoyed. There is no way I would stay in a £120/night hotel if I had known. I would have tried to get a travel lodge type room for half the price. I genuinely can’t afford to pay the £240 they are requesting with it being close to xmas and feel very annoyed that they told us they would pay, then withdrew the offer once it was too late.

    Any thoughts? Opinions? Am I being unreasonable?

    Thanks
    Originally posted by moneypuddle
    Whether or not the firm should pay for this is one matter. However the fact that they offered and are now reneging is unacceptable.

    Do you have proof that they offered to pay? Is so then I would have though the very least they should do is pay the EXTRA amount over and above what it would have cost you to stay in a Travel Lodge or whatever.

    Whether or not it is in your best interest to have a big battle with you employer over this is another matter - regardless of the legal position.
    PLEASE NOTE:

    I limit myself to responding to threads where I feel I have enough knowledge to make a useful contribution. My advice (and indeed any advice on this type of forum) should only be seen as a pointer to something you may wish to investigate further. Never act on any forum advice without confirmation from an accountable source.
  • BackOnTrack
    • #3
    • 14th Dec 10, 11:18 AM
    • #3
    • 14th Dec 10, 11:18 AM

    Any thoughts? Opinions? Am I being unreasonable?
    Originally posted by moneypuddle

    No you aren't being unreasonable. You asked the question and were told the company was paying which is fine. The comapny required you to travel and therefore IMO they are liable for the extra costs incurred as a result of the weather.
    There's no sense crying over every mistake.
    You just keep on trying till you run out of cake.
    • SandC
    • By SandC 14th Dec 10, 12:46 PM
    • 3,757 Posts
    • 5,566 Thanks
    SandC
    • #4
    • 14th Dec 10, 12:46 PM
    • #4
    • 14th Dec 10, 12:46 PM
    Completely agree, the 4 of you need to stand together over this. It is totally unreasonable for them to expect you to pay out £240 each when it was a requirement you attended.

    Get on the phone to a nearby Travelodge etc. and find out the rates for their rooms just in case you need to argue the case for only paying their rates as was suggested.

    Good luck and keep us informed! You could also bring up that the other guests who were closer to home did not have this outlay to pay and they might want to have a whip round for you (do this tongue in cheek, as it is faintly ridiculous but viable!).
  • Googlewhacker
    • #5
    • 14th Dec 10, 12:51 PM
    • #5
    • 14th Dec 10, 12:51 PM
    If they offered then they should pay, if the manager did it of her own back and now is worrying that it will cause problems then tough on her.

    For things like this I would say the company has a duty of care to the employer to make sure they are safe anyway so this would be the arguement to have made you stay the extra day or two for safety reasons.
    The Googlewhacker referance is to Dave Gorman and not to my opinion of the search engine!

    If I give you advice it is only a view and always always take professional advice before acting!!!

    4 people on the ignore list....Bliss!
  • SarEl
    • #6
    • 14th Dec 10, 1:25 PM
    • #6
    • 14th Dec 10, 1:25 PM
    Assuming that the four of you are going to stick together on this and confirm that the manager said that the company would pay for the additional cost of being snowed in, then I think you ought to submit a collective grievance. The Christmas party was compulsory - therefore you were contractually obliged to attend (and I am assuming that as well as the original overnight stay your expenses for travel were also paid by the employer, which would doubly confirm that this was not a "perk" but a compulsory event). On this basis, you were technically carrying out your contractual obligations by attending. You were snowed in. You sought guidance from your employer (through your manager) as to what you should do and she told you to stay where you were and you would be recompensed in full. That verbal agreement is as contractually binding as a written one, although obviously verbal agreements are harder to prove, hence why you all need to stick together. I do not particularly see why you should have to pay anything - even for a Travelodge - since you were only where you were due to your contractual obligations. Had you been "working" away and this had happened, you could not have been expected to bear the cost yourselves and so this is no different. To my mind, offering to pay the balance between the two is not really on either, but if you feel that this may mediate the situation and make it more palatable to both sides, then that is a fair enough decision for you to make. But that would be a concession on your part. And you are of course assuming that you could have (a) got to a Travelodge and (b) they had any rooms due to everyone else having headed there when they were snowed in!
  • DVardysShadow
    • #7
    • 14th Dec 10, 1:44 PM
    • #7
    • 14th Dec 10, 1:44 PM
    Assuming that the four of you are going to stick together on this and confirm that the manager said that the company would pay for the additional cost of being snowed in, then I think you ought to submit a collective grievance. The Christmas party was compulsory - therefore you were contractually obliged to attend (and I am assuming that as well as the original overnight stay your expenses for travel were also paid by the employer, which would doubly confirm that this was not a "perk" but a compulsory event). On this basis, you were technically carrying out your contractual obligations by attending. You were snowed in. You sought guidance from your employer (through your manager) as to what you should do and she told you to stay where you were and you would be recompensed in full. That verbal agreement is as contractually binding as a written one, although obviously verbal agreements are harder to prove, hence why you all need to stick together. I do not particularly see why you should have to pay anything - even for a Travelodge - since you were only where you were due to your contractual obligations. Had you been "working" away and this had happened, you could not have been expected to bear the cost yourselves and so this is no different. To my mind, offering to pay the balance between the two is not really on either, but if you feel that this may mediate the situation and make it more palatable to both sides, then that is a fair enough decision for you to make. But that would be a concession on your part. And you are of course assuming that you could have (a) got to a Travelodge and (b) they had any rooms due to everyone else having headed there when they were snowed in!
    Originally posted by SarEl
    I agree with this. But plenty of Christmas entertainment to come while you watch the sloping shoulders develop as you claim that the event was compulsory.
  • SarEl
    • #8
    • 14th Dec 10, 2:58 PM
    • #8
    • 14th Dec 10, 2:58 PM
    I agree with this. But plenty of Christmas entertainment to come while you watch the sloping shoulders develop as you claim that the event was compulsory.
    Originally posted by DVardysShadow
    That would be quite true - if I was suggesting that the OP claim this. But since the OP said this in the post, I was giving an opinion based on facts stated by the OP....

    The xmas party was not optional so we all had no choice but to go.
    Originally posted by moneypuddle

    Of course, no opinion is ever valid if an OP says something which is not true, but I was rather assuming that the facts were true.
    • maninthestreet
    • By maninthestreet 14th Dec 10, 4:26 PM
    • 15,001 Posts
    • 13,285 Thanks
    maninthestreet
    • #9
    • 14th Dec 10, 4:26 PM
    • #9
    • 14th Dec 10, 4:26 PM
    A compulsory Christmas party?? Never heard of that before. If you don't go, you get a disciplinary hearing???
    "You were only supposed to blow the bl**dy doors off!!"
  • DVardysShadow
    That would be quite true - if I was suggesting that the OP claim this. But since the OP said this in the post, I was giving an opinion based on facts stated by the OP....




    Of course, no opinion is ever valid if an OP says something which is not true, but I was rather assuming that the facts were true.
    Originally posted by SarEl
    Of course. I am suggesting that the facts might be changed under the feet of the OP, rather than that the OP is for one moment telling an untruth.
  • DVardysShadow
    A compulsory Christmas party?? Never heard of that before. If you don't go, you get a disciplinary hearing???
    Originally posted by maninthestreet
    Final written warning for not wearing a hat out of a Christmas cracker, I should imagine.
  • MrRedundant
    Due to the cost there will be tax and NI contributions to be made.
    • bristol_pilot
    • By bristol_pilot 14th Dec 10, 7:47 PM
    • 2,203 Posts
    • 2,342 Thanks
    bristol_pilot
    Compulsory Christmas party exemplifies the type of company that the OP has the misfortune to work for. Those that impose 'compulsory fun' on the staff are actually the least fun to work for.

    It is illegal for the Company to make unauthorised deductions from wages, so stand firm. I would NOT offer to pay the Travelodge rate, it weakens your position by admitting that you should pay something.
    • DKLS
    • By DKLS 14th Dec 10, 8:19 PM
    • 12,819 Posts
    • 21,524 Thanks
    DKLS
    Cheeky swines they should cover the cost of the hotel and any meals you had.
  • SarEl
    Compulsory Christmas party exemplifies the type of company that the OP has the misfortune to work for. Those that impose 'compulsory fun' on the staff are actually the least fun to work for.
    Originally posted by bristol_pilot
    If you are a good employer, then who needs to make it compulsory? Can you come up with some ways of convincing my staff not to come ? This year they and the company credit card (with a strict spend limit on it -for the safety of my bank account and not due to tax concerns) are going on their own as I am leaving the country (connected to the weather at this time of year and not their going out with the credit card). All suggestions are welcome!
    • DCFC79
    • By DCFC79 14th Dec 10, 9:17 PM
    • 29,360 Posts
    • 18,565 Thanks
    DCFC79
    A compulsory Christmas party?? Never heard of that before. If you don't go, you get a disciplinary hearing???
    Originally posted by maninthestreet

    lol i cant wait for the ramifications if i decide to go home early christmas eve rather than go to the local pub for a drink bought by the firms owner(if we agree to work our lunch we can go home early as long as we go for a drink at the local pub) not after last years episode where no free drinks appeared,
    Last edited by DCFC79; 14-12-2010 at 9:20 PM.
    Je Suis Charlie
  • AnonymousForObviousReason
    If you are a good employer, then who needs to make it compulsory? Can you come up with some ways of convincing my staff not to come ? This year they and the company credit card (with a strict spend limit on it -for the safety of my bank account and not due to tax concerns) are going on their own as I am leaving the country (connected to the weather at this time of year and not their going out with the credit card). All suggestions are welcome!
    Originally posted by SarEl
    Hold it when there are snow storms, promise to pay for accommodation then backtrack. No staff loyalty, no problem?

    Anyway back to OP. They offered so they need to pay, especially as compulsory. Forced Christmas party must be on the list for constructive dismissal
    Santander are awful - mission in life is to warn people since 17-Sep-10, 18-Sep-10 realised one of thousands.
    • getmore4less
    • By getmore4less 14th Dec 10, 9:41 PM
    • 28,808 Posts
    • 17,223 Thanks
    getmore4less
    If you are a good employer, then who needs to make it compulsory? Can you come up with some ways of convincing my staff not to come ? This year they and the company credit card (with a strict spend limit on it -for the safety of my bank account and not due to tax concerns) are going on their own as I am leaving the country (connected to the weather at this time of year and not their going out with the credit card). All suggestions are welcome!
    Originally posted by SarEl
    Tell them you decided not to go away after all and will be the life of the party
  • heretolearn
    We're going off the point here but I see a huge difference between it being compulsary to attend something in work hours, and something out of work hours.

    Anyway, if we are swapping Christmas stories, I used to work for someone who'd insist we were working full hours Christmas Eve, no early finish, then as a 'surprise treat' would let us go 15 minutes early. Wow. Thanks.

    OP - al four of you should stick to your guns and back each other up. You were told by a manager that the cost would be covered. If she made a mistake/acted above her authority - SHE is the one who should feel the ramifications, either by losing the money herself or going through a disciplinary.
    Cash not ash from January 2nd 2011: £2565.

    OU student: A103 , A215 , A316 all done. Currently A230 all leading to an English Literature degree.

    Any advice given is as an individual, not as a representative of my firm.
  • RedSoleShoes
    This is awful behaviour by your company OP. Compulsory parties then charging you for dragging you 2.5 hours from home?! Shocking

    I am at a loss what to suggest really other than you need all 4 of you to stick together on this. If you are on your own then I think you will (through no fault of your own) have a very hard time fighting your employer.

    Did any of you have children (or even pets) to get back to? What on earth would your company have done in this situation. The whole thing sounds appalling.
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