As the holiday season is fast approaching, now is the time we turn our focus onto the end of year celebrations and Christmas Parties.  Unfortunately, in some cases these events can become a HR Nightmare, with issues such as bullying and harassment and inappropriate behaviours from employees to drink driving and other unsafe situations amongst the HR issues which may arise.  The following guidelines will assist with your planning of these functions and minimising the risk of these incidents.

The company is liable for the health & safety, and actions of staff during designated function times, so we have included below a recommended checklist for you to use.

Christmas Party Checklist for Managers

 Include a clear start and end time for the function… if employees choose to kick on after the event then it is classed as their personal time.

  • Have at least one senior leader or team member at the function remain sober, so that they can be the designated “responsible person”.
  • If serving alcohol, also provide food to reduce the effects.  Light beer and water / soft drinks should also be available.
  • Encourage employees to drink in moderation. Do not buy rounds of drinks or encourage “shouts”, allow people to drink at their own pace.
  • If you see someone drinking to excess then you should cut them off, if the venue does not.
  • If employees plan to drink alcohol, ask them to make alternative arrangements for getting home rather than driving.  If anyone does become intoxicated and does not have transport organised, then arrange a taxi for them on the day.
  • Company policies are also to be adhered to during Company events, so any breach of policy that occurs at an event needs to be reported.
  • Ask the venue about their Public Liability Insurance and where does it extend to, to ensure our staff are properly covered.

At the end of the day, Christmas Parties should be enjoyed by all, so a little pre-thought and some preventative measures can ensure everyone has a great end of your celebration.

If you would like more advice on this or any other issue then feel free to contact us