Festive Season Parties: Employers Beware!

A reminder to party (responsibly) this holiday season at your work sanctioned events!

The coming of this holiday season brings the likes of celebration, events and socialisation with co-workers (some of whom you only see in the corridor from time-to-time). However, professional practice in work-sanctioned events will assure that returning to work after the festive holiday period will not be met with regret and awkward stares.

Even though office festive parties are usually held off-site, work health and safety laws still apply – it is a work event after all! Accordingly, remind your workers to refrain from acting any differently than how they would in the office. Swapping the paperwork for drinks does not provide an excuse to act in a different, unprofessional or rude manner.

Festive events provide employees with an atmosphere to socialise and drink in a relaxed setting. It is important to remember that this new environment increases the risk and likelihood of inappropriate behaviour occurring. Therefore, your staff should be notified of what is considered appropriate, safe and acceptable conduct at festive events.

Here are a few tips and tricks you can enforce in your business to ensure an appropriate festive event:

  1. Implement policies and procedures which enforce appropriate behaviour of employees.
  2. Organise appropriate travel arrangements prior to and following the event.
  3. Ensure and monitor that the responsible service and consumption of alcohol is enforced.
  4. Nominate managers responsible for the running of the function.
  5. Ensure there is sufficient food served at the event, to minimise the risk of over-consumption of alcohol.

Festive season events should be fun, but they also should be safe. Remember, have fun (but not too much fun) this holiday season!

If you are an employer who has a question arising from a festive work event, please contact Aaran Johnson or Simon Kumar  to discuss how Marsdens can assist your business.


The contents of this publication are for reference purposes only. This publication does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Specific legal advice should always be sought separately before taking any action based on this publication.


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