It’s that time of the year where workplaces get geared up for the festive season, where employees let their hair down after the year just been. As an employer it is important to ensure your employees are safe and their conduct is in order.

Setting Rules for The Office Christmas Party

It’s a good idea to remind your employees of their obligations whilst at the same time encouraging them to have a good time. Remind your team that whilst it is a work function, their behaviour still requires them to adhere to policies and procedures on drugs, inappropriate language and violence, as well as requiring responsible alcohol consumption. Advising your employees in the form of a letter is always a good idea.

Don’t Enable Binge Drinking

Who doesn’t love an open bar! It’s a wise idea to limit the bar tab at work functions or even ask staff to contribute to their own drinks to encourage people to think about their alcohol consumption. There is also the option to designate some ‘sober staff’ to monitor staff conduct to help get other colleagues’ home safely.

Getting Staff Home After a Work Function

It is recommended that employers advise their staff prior to any work function of ways to get home from the event. There are no hard and fast rules regarding an employer’s obligation to get staff home however it is recommended to ensure that the safety of their staff is paramount.

Will We Be Liable for Harassment at a Work Christmas Party?

The short answer is Yes. It is a work party and normal rules apply, just like is it at the office.

What if some Employees belong to non-Christmas Religions?

Holding an end of year event doesn’t always mean it is deemed a ‘Christmas Party’. It can be seen as more of a thank you for all your hard work for the year just been. It always aids in keeping staff morale up. There can be some staff that don’t necessarily celebrate Christmas and all things festive.

Possibly calling the event an ‘End of Year’ event rather than Christmas party is an option. Looking at a particular venue for the event can also be considered as some religions (i.e. Muslim religion) forbids alcohol therefore holding the end of year even at a pub or club may not be a wise choice.

Everyone Should Have Fun

At the end of the day, the work Christmas party should be fund and enjoyable and that includes the owners. Employers too, should take the opportunity to relax, celebrate their achievements over the past year and have a great time with the people who help make their business happen!

If you do have any questions regarding your employees, please contact us.  If you do find yourself in trouble (or want to avoid it!), we work with experienced HR consultants and employment lawyers who can also assist you.