Thinking about arranging a work Christmas Party?

Work Christmas Party

As the end of 2017 approaches, along with it comes the inevitable festive season celebrations of office parties and other functions.

While it is a time to celebrate the year that was and recognise your staff’s hard work, employers need to ensure that adequate planning is carried out so that everyone has a good time without there being any risks of inappropriate or unsafe behaviour.

Here are some steps which will hopefully minimise the risk of a ‘legal hangover’:

  • Send a reminder to all staff on the day of the function reminding them of the expected behaviour and their responsibilities at the party
  • Set a clear start and finish time for the function
  • Ensure your venue/caterer adheres to responsible service of alcohol guidelines and that nibblies are arranged
  • Make sure food and non-alcoholic drinks are also served
  • Nominate someone to be responsible for monitoring employee behaviour at the party and to also oversee the responsible service of alcohol

The morning after is really important as well!

So………… you’ve followed these steps and everyone has had a great time – or so you think!

The day after the party you find out some employees enjoyed themselves a little too much….someone has made a complaint.  What do you do now?

It is important to remember that allegations regarding inappropriate conduct at any function organised and funded by an employer should be dealt with the same as any other allegation of misconduct at work.

Just because it didn’t occur on work premises doesn’t mean it doesn’t have to be investigated.

What I mean is, the allegations must be investigated and put clearly to the employee to respond to.  Then a decision must be made based on all of the information and evidence at hand.

It is important that consideration is given to things such as:

  • the amount of alcohol served and how it was served
  • whether there was a clear finish time for the function
  • did the misconduct occur at the function, or
  • did it occur after the function had finished?

Rest assured, things can get really tricky, really quickly if you don’t follow a well thought out process.

Got a question or need some help?

Email Lisa at or phone the office on 07 4638 3599 to make an appointment for a free, no-obligation chat to discuss your obligations with Lisa Lee.

Lisa is the Human Resources Manager at Classic Recruitment & Human Resources and she can make sure you don’t miss anything!

She can also help you with anything else related to your employment of staff such as reviewing the wages you pay, drafting of appropriate employment contracts and ensure you meet all of your obligations.


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