As the work Christmas party season approaches, our team at enrichHR thought it was a good time to provide some useful tips to consider for end of year celebrations.
Employers have a duty of care for their employees, as stated in Section 19 of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011. This duty of care extends to work organised Christmas parties to ensure employees get to and from the venue safely.
As such you should consider:-
- Organise transport for staff to and from the Christmas Party
To ensure your employees get to and from the venue safely, you could reimburse them for the cost of a rideshare, provide a door-to-door mini-bus, or make sure they have designated drivers. Try to encourage female staff members to pair up and travel home together as there is safety in numbers. Alternatively, you could provide hotel accommodation or organise discounted room rates at a hotel close to the venue.
- Choose an appropriate and safe venue
The venue should be selected to safely accommodate all your employees and adhere to the current Covid requirements. Make sure there are non-alcoholic beverages provided for non-drinkers or staff members who haven’t reached the legal drinking age (18+). Make sure the servers are aware of your underaged staff members. You’ll also need to take into consideration access to the venue for any disabled or mobility-impaired staff members.
- Provide food
Make sure there’s enough food available to cater to a range of dietary requirements, particularly if there is alcohol being served.
- Put in place strategies for dealing with inappropriate behaviour
Prior to the work Christmas party, it is important to make your staff aware that inappropriate behaviour will not be tolerated. Appoint a staff member or if you don’t have a HR department, outsource your responsibilities to deal with any complaints that arise.