As the festive season approaches it brings with it a new search for the best venue for your Christmas party. While this is a time to make employees feel appreciated and celebrate another year of hard work, it does not always come to pass without challenges. If you are unfortunate enough to find an employee suffered an incident at the Christmas party, there are ways to ensure you are protected as an employer. There are factors, such as alcohol and alternative location to the normal work environment that can lead to people behaving in ways they normally would not.

It is important that an employer has taken responsible measures to protect everyone while enjoying the festivities, such as:

  • Review the “Dignity in the Workplace” policy and ensure that it clearly states the employer will not tolerate bullying, harassment or sexual harassment. The policy should include that it is applicable in workrelated social events. This should be circulated to all employees.
  • Employees should be reminded that inappropriate behaviour at the Christmas party will not be tolerated and may lead to disciplinary action.
  • Review the social media policy to ensure it sets out the consequences of posting pictures online from the Christmas party that may cause damage to the reputation of the company or affect a colleague’s right to privacy.
  • Employees should be informed that alcohol consumption at the Christmas party should be moderate.
  • Any complaints made after the Christmas party should be treated seriously and investigated quickly. If necessary, disciplinary action should be taken. However, ensure that it is appropriate and proportionate to the incident and that it is consistently applied.

Once you have followed protocol to ensure a safe environment for you employees, then eat, drink and be merry!

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