Employers often want to express their appreciation to all their employees for their hard work and the annual works Christmas “do” is a favourite event to promote good working relationships.
However it is always advisable to take certain steps in advance to ensure that it goes as planned and is enjoyed by all.
Some points worth considering are as follows.
Might a lunchtime may be more convenient than evening for those with childcare responsibilities. Employers should choose the day of the week carefully too to accommodate other religious or cultural preferences.
Provide a clear policy on the standards of behaviour expected at Christmas parties and what kinds of behaviour are unacceptable. Even though such events will often take place outside normal working hours and away from the normal place of work, people should behave as if they are in work. Make clear also, expectations on presence and punctuality on the following day.
It is good practice to designate responsibility for supervising work-related social events to specific managers. It is preferable that they themselves stay sober.
Mindful employers will minimise temptation to drink and drive by either choice of location, hiring accommodation, coaches or minibuses to leave at set times towards and at the end of the event, or providing local taxi firms’ telephone numbers. Also consider employees who might be driving for work or operating dangerous machinery and might still be over the company acceptable alcohol level the next morning.
Ensure that the policy on harassment is up to date and has been brought to the attention of all employees. The employer will have a defence to a claim of harassment if it can show that it took all reasonable steps to prevent the employee from performing the act.
While employers might want to provide a couple of free drinks for employees, a free bar throughout the event will encourage excessive alcohol intake.
You can therefore ensure that the party goes well and there are no nasty employment hangovers to deal with afterwards. If you need any help with writing a Works Related Social Event Policy for your business or for any other advice please contact Clover HR today.