'Tis the season to be jolly, but in all seriousness the festive season and end of year celebrations can be a source of anxiety for employers who are unsure of their obligations to their workers.
When it comes to work celebrations, employers need to make sure workers understand what behaviour and conduct is acceptable and what repercussions could be if misconduct occurs.
Employers may be liable for their staff behaviour and misconduct including harassment, bullying, or sexual harassment of other party goers..
Here are a couple of tips to ensure your festive event remains festive for all concerned.
Make staff aware that workplace policies are in effect Including those of harassment, bullying and sexual harassment.
Send an email to employees prior to the event laying down some ground rules and ensure that they know their responsibilities
Adhere to responsible service of alcohol rules and provide plenty of food. Don’t let employees become intoxicated and definitely do not let them drink and drive.
Organise travel arrangements or provide employees with ways to get home safely – Make sure employees have access to safe transport.
Be aware that workcover may still apply to your event and that employees may be eligible to make claims
Don’t make inappropriate jokes or remarks. A good rule of thumb to remember “If you won’t say it in front of the Boss, don’t say it at all!”
Set specific start and finish times for your event. Specify that any after party events attended by your staff are not endorsed by your business.
Respect is the key.
If your staff are considerate and respectful then your event should be the highlight of the year.