Blog

Christmas parties and the workplace

Gene Schirripa

12 Dec 2018

Topics

  • Employment Law

’Tis the season to be jolly! It’s also the season when organisations throw Christmas parties to reward their staff members and let everyone unwind.

In this article, Snedden Hall & Gallop Lawyer, Gene Schirripa, talks about ways to make sure that your workplace Christmas party runs as smoothly as Rudolph on the evening of the 24th!

Workplace responsibility

Workplaces need to be mindful of what’s suitable and acceptable for their staff Christmas party. But we don’t want to play the role of the Grinch and put a dampener on things. That’s why we’ve put together some helpful hints for you!

Five steps to success

Below are five steps that you can follow to make sure that your Christmas party is one to remember – for the right reasons!

  1. Undertake due diligence. Make sure you do a site inspection of the venue and, preferably, meet with the venue manager or representative. This way, they’ll be are aware of your requirements and expectations and you can make sure that the venue is ‘fit for purpose’.
  2. Arrange transport if possible and necessary. If the venue is difficult to reach, arrange return transport for your staff so that they can get home – or to a more central location – safely. You could also provide cab vouchers.
  3. Appoint a responsible person. You should appoint at least one designated ‘responsible person’ (or more than one for larger events) who agrees to monitor any issues. This may involve ensuring the continued responsible service of alcohol and addressing safety concerns.
  4. Mark the finish line. Employees will be free to ‘kick on’ into the night, but employers need to ensure there’s clearly identified start and finish times. They also need to make sure that they communicate these times. For example, you should make an announcement to formally conclude festivities. This makes it clear that the organisation is not responsible for employees outside of those set hours.
  5. Be prepared for cut offs. Many organisations reward staff with open bar tabs. While that’s fine, individual staff members may need to be cut-off if their alcohol intake becomes excessive. Be sure to remind venue management that staff members should be cut-off if they become intoxicated. For a licensed venue, this will be part of the venue’s responsible service of alcohol requirements.

How can Snedden Hall & Gallop assist?

If you have questions to do with any workplace issues, our Employment Law team will be able to advise you. Please contact us on 02 6285 8000 or by email.