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Work Christmas parties gone wrong


Posted on December 14, 2014



It’s Christmas party season, it’s a time to give out bonuses, those employee recognition awards, have a drink or two and get possibly get fired. Many businesses don’t set clear ground rules or provide staff training around obligations around parties so here are a few tips to employers ensure people behave.

Alcohol waiver

It’s important to set boundaries. Having an alcohol waiver outlines the obligation of the employer when providing alcoholic drinks, and if employees choose to consume too much and their actions are against company policies the employee knows what may happen.

Activity waiver

If your employee chooses to go to another event after yours, it needs to be noted and understood by the employee that they are no longer in your workplace. They need to know if they go to another event and get injured it is on them. It’s simply better to provide the cab charge is them to get them home.

An example of this is: One large corporate had a department that decided to hire a hotel room to hold a separate after party after a staff Christmas party last year. Management were not aware of this. Staff behaved inappropriately and the employer was sued because of this in appropriate behaviour as it was still deemed by fair work a staff event because the people in the hotel room were employees.

Bottom line, this type of activity is going to take place and you need a waiver to protect your company from this. Is good advice that a company should have an activity waiver and you should say no to such events as against company policy and any such events can be a termination offence.

Cab charge

In many national awards a cab charge is important because it is the employer’s responsibility to ensure they provide staff a safe way for staff to get home. This rule is common sense.

Don’t get drunk

Not only will you lose respect, but maybe your job!

Remember – It’s not a nite club

Inappropriate dancing or attempts to build some kind of romance can leave you in hot water. Remember it’s a work event and sexual advances or behaviour can fall into your organisations sexual harassment policy if unwanted.


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