Christmas Parties: Employers Golden Rules

Its that end of year Christmas party and what a year it has been!

COVID, lockdowns, working from home, financial roller coasters. Your staff have worked with you during the year and you want to show your appreciation and hold an end of year Christmas party.

Sounds nice doesn’t it?

But….

Business owners still have responsibilities to staff of a safe environment even at a Social function.

Alcohol mixed with a party atmosphere increases the possibility of something unpleasant happening. Any staff resentment comes bubbling to the top, comments are made that were” Just a joke”- all these can be viewed as sexual harassment, or even bullying and discrimination.

What to do to address this risk? Here are few things to consider:

  1. Send out an email before the event– reminding staff of their obligations under the agencies policies and procedures manual, that they should behave responsibly. You can include this is an email reminding staff of the details, so it doesn’t look too obvious 
  2. If you have anyone under the age of 18 attending- a wrist band or similar can be organised to ensure that they are not served alcohol.
  3. Consider the venue- Will they have staff that ensure the safe service of alcohol? Will they ensure that there is good access to water and soft drinks during the event? Since its Christmas time in Australia- it can get very hot and if you only have alcohol on offer, staff can get very inebriated very fast. Don’t forget any handicapped staff if there are stairs.
  4. Will there be a variety of food , not just snacks, to assist in staff not over indulging with the Alcohol? Don’t forget about food allergies or religious considerations.
  5. Kris Kringles– ensure that employees understand that any gifts should be G rated. It should not cause anyone – recipient any offence. So that “gag” gift that would make someone blush- is not appropriate. Remind staff in the email that all gifts should be Family friendly. Its a work related party after all.
  6. Travel to and from venues is something else that you may want to consider. As a business owner, you need to ensure that all staff get home safely. Either taxi vouchers or taxi pooling with other staff is a good idea.
  7. Coin toss- to see which Managers are the Designated Sober One- this way management can keep an eye on the staff so that things don’t get out of hand.

Lets Keep safe this Christmas :