advo hr gives some useful tips to help your Christmas party go smoothly and protect the Company from the risk of someone being offended, an incident occurring, a complaint or liability.
Here are some useful tips for employers organising Christmas Party’s:
Before the Event
- Implement a ‘Party Policy’ otherwise known as ‘work related social events’ policy
A Party Policy will remind employees of the behaviour expected of them at the event. Staff should also be reminded that all policies which apply to their behaviour in the office, also apply to their behaviour at all company functions. It should be communicated to all employees in advance of the party, so it may be a good idea for you to send it out with the invitations or with the itinerary a few days before the party.
- Ensure That Policies Are In Place and Up-To-Date
Make sure that your policies covering matters such as discrimination, harassment and bullying, health and safety, and discipline and grievance are up to date. Make sure employees are advised that violent, aggressive, disorderly or discriminatory behaviour will not be tolerated.
- Review Dress Codes
If you have a dress code for your party, make sure that it does not discriminate against employees of a particular religion or belief. If you have a fancy dress or theme for the evening, make sure that everyone is aware that this is optional and it should not be offensive.
- Ensure That The Venue Is Safe
Employers have a general duty under the Health and Safety at Work Act to ensure, as far as is reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare at work of all their employees. You should therefore ensure that the venue does not present any unnecessary health and safety risks and that employees do not put themselves or others at risk either during or after the party.
Employees also have a general duty to take reasonable care of their own physical and mental health and safety, and that of others who may be affected by their acts or omissions at work. Employers should remind employees of the health and safety implications of excessive alcohol consumption at the party.
Ensure the location is easily accessible and does not put any disabled employees at a disadvantage. It may be necessary to make adjustments to ensure that all employees can attend.
Consider arrangements for staff to get home after the event and how easy this will be when choosing your venue.
- Consider dietary requirements
Review the catering options to ensure that they can cater for everyone’s dietary requirements.
During the Event
- Appoint Supervisors
Designate employees to be specifically responsible for supervising the event and provide them with guidelines on dealing with intoxicated employees. The supervising employees should remain sober (and present) to deal with any incidents.
After the Event
- Deal with any Complaints
Employers should take any complaints seriously and deal with them in accordance with the appropriate procedures. In particular, you should ensure that, as a minimum, you comply with your grievance and disciplinary procedures.
We hope the tips and advice above is of use, we would strongly recommend you read it carefully and implement those sections that are relevant to your own Company.
You want to ensure that everyone has a fantastic time, in a safe environment. Nobody should feel intimidated, upset, embarrassed, humiliated or offended.
Part 1 outlines were things can go really bad with a real life case study. You can read Part 1 here.