Tis the season to be jolly…….. especially if you are having a Company Christmas Party to reward your staff for their work this year. But what should you be mindful of and what could go wrong?
Most employees behave appropriately, but sometimes behaviour gets out of control. It is therefore important that you are aware employment laws apply even when a party takes place elsewhere other than in the workplace.
The top 10 tips that an employer can take to minimise the risks of things getting out of hand at the Christmas Party are:
- If the invite includes partners, ensure it is open to all, as not to discriminate on the grounds of sexual orientation.
- Communicate to all employees what are acceptable standards of behaviour and remind them that the party is an extension of the work place and that the normal disciplinary procedures will apply in the event of any incident.
- If you are having a free bar, then limit it. This will help prevent accidents, incidents, fights, threatening behavior and unwanted advances.
- Ensure that one Manager stays alcohol-free so they can keep an eye out for any unacceptable or potentially dangerous behaviour.
- Consider the needs of all of your staff:
- will parents be able to arrange childcare?
- will members of some faiths be able to make the day of the party?
- Is there food to meet all employees’ religious and cultural requirements?
- Are non-alcoholic drinks available?
- Do any disabled staff need physical assistance?
6.During the party Managers should avoid ‘work’ conversations i.e. about performance, promotion, salary or career prospects. Promises made at a Christmas party, even when made under the influence of alcohol, can later become issues.
7. It is only natural Senior Managers will want to join in and show staff they are human and ‘loosen their ties’. Be mindful about letting confidentiality slip and how junior members, staff, clients etc. may perceive the behaviour.
8. Consider how your staff will get home safely, where possible.
9. Remind staff that you expect them to come into work on time the next day.
10. And have fun!
Merry Christmas from the Team at Optem
For HR advice and/or support with investigations, grievances or disciplinaries, contact us now firstname.lastname@example.org