The Christmas Party

Attention:  All Human Resource Advisors, Officers, Coordinators, Managers, Professionals, Supervisors, Assistants!

By now, you’re probably preparing for the famous Christmas party.

And by “famous” we mean… “talked about” or “grand”… unless you have any celebrities making an appearance!

To make sure your Christmas party remains “famous” and not “infamous”, see our below tips!

1. Make sure you have Policies & Procedures in place;

2. Provide training on the Policies & Procedures; and

3. Arrange a staff catch up to discuss the Christmas Party and the professional boundaries.

Employers have a duty of care to ensure their employees remain safe in the workplace, which extends to work functions that are held at or outside the workplace.  Employers should also, to the best of their ability, ensure that they provide a safe environment for guests, such as clients, consultants, partners and even the venue’s hospitality staff.

We recommend calling a staff meeting to either implement or provide re-fresher training to your employees on the Company’s Policies & Procedures.  These may include the Code of Conduct, Bullying, Harassment, Discrimination, Dress Code, Grievance and/or Disciplinary Action policies.

It is important that all employees are reminded that the Christmas & New Year period is a time to celebrate and wind-down but that professional boundaries remain in place.

Employers should remind employees of the boundaries, standards, and expectations prior to the party so that everyone involved has an enjoyable time and there is minimal risk of unsafe or inappropriate conduct or behaviour.

Other general reminders include:

– Set the start and end time of the party by sending a staff memo or invitation. This will help to set the expectation of what is and is not part of the party.

If employees kick-on for an after party, consider management’s role in this.  For example, if the boss or manager expects everyone to kick-on or puts on a bar tab at the after party, this may be considered a continuation of the original party, in which case the same safety precautions should apply.

– Be mindful that workplace health and safety still applies to work-related functions. Such as accidents, injuries, incidents, travel, etc.

For example, consider where the party is, whether it is a safe environment, how staff will be travelling to and from the party, consider uber/taxi vouchers for staff, limit excessive alcohol consumption, stop any unsafe or inappropriate conduct or behaviour, look out for junior employees, etc.

– If you have junior employees, ensure the party is suitable for them as well. For example, is alcohol being served, is the venue suitable for junior employees, etc.?

-If you are participating in Secret Santa, ensure that you inform all staff that gifts must be appropriate. For example, do not buy a gift that could be seen as rude or offensive.

– Not everyone celebrates the festive season (for example, because of religious beliefs, personal beliefs, etc.). Consider whether it is more appropriate to call your party something else, such as an “End of Year Celebration” or other.

Christmas parties may look a little different this year due to the impact of COVID-19, however it is important that measures are still put in place to ensure that everyone is responsible at the party.

P.S. Booster Tip!

Implement and provide training on an Internet Policy… to remind the online shoppers to Christmas shop in their own time and not during work time.

HR Business Assist 

For more information, contact the HR Business Assist Team.

P 1300 138 551


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