Blog

Christmas parties – celebrate the right way

Gene Schirripa

27 Nov 2019

Topics

  • Employment Law

’Tis the season to be jolly! It’s also the season when organisations host Christmas parties for their staff members – a chance to get together, unwind, and celebrate the end of another year.

In this article 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, as well as being aware that Christmas functions bring with them an increased chance of safety-related incidents.

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!

Six steps to party success

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

  1. Check the venue. 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. Consider the food. An abundance of alcohol but a scarcity of food is a recipe for disaster. If the budget is limiting the amount of food, make sure that it’s also limiting the amount of alcohol.
  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. Set guidelines for Secret Santa. If present giving is on the party agenda, it’s worthwhile reminding staff about what sort of gifts are appropriate and, more particularly, don’t contravene your organisation’s sexual harassment, bullying or discrimination policies.
  5. 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.
  6. Offer transport options. 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 so that no one is tempted to drive if they have been drinking.

How can we help?

Our Employment Law team can help you with any questions you have about workplace issues, including Christmas parties! Please contact us on 02 6285 8000 or by email.