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Wow! This is the big one. In my time, I’ve done a few different employment law blogs about whether (mostly fictional) characters would be good employees or not but, in tackling Santa Claus, I’m risking entry onto the Naughty List and a severe reduction in the quality of this year’s presents (we’re talking bland socks and a £5 gift card only!)

Now, whilst unlikely, if you are 10 years old or younger, then I’m not at all suggesting that Santa Claus is fictional and, rather, he is an exception to my usual rule to base these blogs on fictional characters!

With that festive disclaimer out of the way, let’s set the scene. It’s January 2019 and Santa Claus is flush from another successful Christmas and commits to attending his new gym to trim off the excess mince pies. By February 2019, Santa has lost weight and, given that early Christmas production is ticking along nicely at the North Pole, is looking for a new challenge. In fact, in recent years, Santa has noticed that his travels around the world haven’t enabled him to really explore any of the places he visits. However, this creates its own issue: money! Santa ploughs all of his profits into Christmas present production and has very little left for himself. Santa needs a job!

And so, one cold February morning, Santa sets off for Liverpool in order to earn funds for a nice worldwide cruise later in the year. His artists of choice on the radio?  Elfis Presley and Beyon-sleigh (sorry!)  Given his background, he is accepted for a job as a delivery driver for a large department store (called Jingle Lewis).  However, Santa’s first foray into non-Christmas related employment is a struggle for several reasons!

Firstly, Santa hasn’t quite got the hang of what to do with a parcel when the occupant isn’t home.  Obviously, his usual routine is to sneak the present into the house, so he is flummoxed when instructed to ring the doorbell and, further, what to do when no-one answers the door.  Unfortunately, Santa’s technique of using the chimney to throw packages down doesn’t go down too well with the purchaser, who counts the broken pieces left of the expensive vase purchased for his wife… 

Secondly, Santa has gotten into a bit of a row with HR over his annual leave allowance.  You see, Santa has 4 weeks of annual leave to use and wants to use all 4 weeks in December.  Unfortunately, most department stores either prohibit or massively restrict use of annual leave in December due to increased demand.  Santa is threatening to resign if they don’t grant his annual leave and, in return, Jingle Lewis are warning him of disciplinary action if he refuses to book a day of annual leave before the end of June…

Thirdly, Mr Claus isn’t too keen on the delivery driver outfit as he feels that his usual (very red) get-up is not only very cosy, but very suitable for working in Liverpool!  HR don’t agree with Santa and say that it is important for the public to identify him as an employee of Jingle Lewis and personal clothing isn’t permitted.  As a compromise, Santa is wearing the uniform, albeit whilst retaining his big, red fluffy Santa Claus hat.  HR still aren’t particularly amused about his choice of headwear, even when Santa tries a joke about snowmen wearing ice caps to keep their heads warm…

Finally, at a time when HR’s patience was stretched enough, Santa used the opportunity to refresh his ‘Naughty’ and ‘Nice’ lists and, within his monthly video blog on YuleTube (sorry!), he informs the public that he has switched three current colleagues to his ‘Naughty list’ due to their poor attitude at work.  All three immediately raised a grievance against Santa Claus.

So are Santa’s days likely to be as numbered as an advent calendar?  (Again, my apologies!)  Most likely, yes!  It turns out that Santa is used to his own unique brand of employment, namely that of speed-running across the globe during one long, winter night using reindeer and a magic sack of toys.  Putting Santa in a delivery van around Liverpool and asking him to remove his big, red coat?  Not likely to end well and, indeed, snow joke for the Jingle Lewis HR team… 

Myself?  Well, as we’ll see within a blog later this month, Canter Levin & Berg are assisting Santa Claus with his employment woes at the North Pole, so I’m hoping to receive some standout gifts from the big red man!