With Christmas right around the corner, the flurry of Christmas ‘do’s’ is in full swing. However, how do you make sure that the annual festivities run smoothly, and avoid any trouble that could potentially pop up? Here at Aspire Cambridge, we have put together some top tips for a top Christmas party.
Make sure you are up to date on the rules of vicarious liability
As in work hours, employers are still liable for their employees during work-related events, i.e. staff parties, as it is ‘during the course of their employment’. This includes acts of unlawful discrimination, e.g. sexual harassment. When arranging the party, employers should take necessary measures to prevent misconduct, such as having a free bar or ‘bottomless’ drinks, and tackle these by putting precautions in place, for example having a finite number of drinks tokens per person. There is a defence for those employers that can show that they have taken these steps to prevent discriminatory acts, so make sure that all staff are trained on appropriate policies and expected behaviour.
Ensure that you have an up to date policy on social events
Ensure that you have a clear, accessible policy in place on the expected standards of behaviour, and unacceptable behaviour at work-related social events. Let people know the potential consequences of breaking these rules, and make sure they are all reminded of these policies prior to the event.
Check your Dignity at Work/Anti-Harassment Policy
During the Christmas festivities, sexual harassment at work events takes a spike, and this is one of the most regular forms of unacceptable behaviour. Make sure that your Dignity at Work/Anti-Harassment also refers specifically to work-related social events, or explicitly references your policy on these events. Ensure that your employees fully understand the issues covered by these policies in the run up to the event.
Distribute a statement to all attending employees prior to the Christmas Party
Send out a statement specifically reminding all attendees of the level of behaviour required of them during the festivity. This will guarantee that they have a chance to properly get to grips with what the company deems as acceptable and unacceptable conduct, as well as any details they may need to know, such as timings, parking etc.
Don’t be afraid to monitor your employee’s behaviour
During the event, make sure you have two or three people acting as supervisors and keeping an eye on behaviour and alcohol consumption. These individuals are not to fly under the radar but should be a known point of contact should any employees have any questions or concerns during the night.
To speak to someone about updating your HR policies, or for more general information, contact our team of Recruitment and HR professionals on 01223 855440.
From all of us at Aspire Cambridge, Merry Christmas!