‘Tis the season to be jolly

Something for the weekend…

After The Employee Benefits team attended Wednesday night’s Centaur Awards and Christmas party, reporting on the Autumn Statement the morning after was not an easy ride, but neither, it seems, are party preparations for other employees during the festive season.

A poll carried out by fashion retailer, Coast, which surveyed 1,882 female respondents aged 18 and over, found that the average woman spends 16 hours of work time to find the perfect outfit for parties and Christmas celebrations.

Two-thirds (66%) said they browsed the internet to look for a Christmas part outfit, accessories or make up when they should have been working. Based on respondents’ average hourly wage of £10.72, this means employers could lose up to £171.52 per female employee due to Christmas party prep.

It seems you can put a price on looking good. Particularly when you consider the retailer’s calculations that employers could collectively lose more than £820 million as female staff prepare for Christmas parties, either shopping or getting ready for, based on the number of women in full-time employment and respondents’ average hourly wage.

Bianca Mercer, head of e-commerce at Coast, said: “The Christmas party season is an exciting time in the workplace. Everyone is looking forward to the festivities, but to see that employers could lose more than £820 million this year on Christmas party preparation is in fact staggering.

”Nevertheless, I’m sure this can be forgiven in the grand scheme of things – with most women likely to have clocked up hours working overtime throughout the year to afford themselves a little browsing time. As long as the work is getting done, it shouldn’t cause too much of an issue.

“The Christmas party is often the event of the year in terms of dressing to impress.”

But, I can’t help thinking these findings are a little one-sided. Men also need time to prepare as I found out when I spent eight hours trying to find the perfect suit to fit.