Christmas party season has arrived!
Christmas party season is here again – a time for employees to let their hair down and celebrate the successes of the year! Christmas tis’ the season to be jolly after all, yet in some cases, there’s a fine line between staff enjoying themselves and getting carried away, particularly when celebrations and alcohol are concerned.
That’s where Croner-i can help…
We don’t want to put a damper on your do, but with employment legislation to be aware of regarding protection of employees, as an employer, you might want to rethink your approach to the traditional Christmas party.
So, if you’re keen to avoid a HR nightmare taking place this Christmas party season, keep reading as we delve into 5 helpful HR tips to stop unacceptable behaviour from happening and prevent potential tribunal claims from occurring.
Get prepared and make the Christmas party a time for your employees to shine with our 5 helpful HR tips...
Make clear the standard of behaviour expected of staff
It’s not unusual for excess drinking to result in anti-social behaviour that’s aggressive, be it verbal or physical. This could result in offensive language, or possibly even an altercation. It’s important to set the tone for occasions where such behaviour could occur. Your employees need to know what the boundaries are however obvious you may think they are. Make boundaries known so staff are aware that discipline will follow should anti-social behaviour occur.
Update company policies accordingly and provide training
Sexual harassment is a risk in any workplace, but such risk can be heightened during social events. Having the correct policies and disciplinary procedures in place will make it clear that inappropriate behaviour or comments will not be tolerated. Such policies and procedures will also ensure you have something to fall back on should allegations be made. To help prevent ill-behaviour in the first place, staff training can also work wonders by setting a clear expectation of what’s acceptable and what isn’t.
Limit the amount of free alcohol you provide
Consider using a token scheme, i.e. one token equates to one alcoholic drink. Then issue 3 maximum tokens per employee. Also, be sure to limit your own alcohol intake. And remember where alcohol is concerned, food should be provided. The last thing you want to encourage is drinking on an empty stomach! Just remember that when providing food, you must check staff’s dietary requirements beforehand.
Follow disciplinary protocol should an allegation be made
Any allegation remains an allegation until proven otherwise. Therefore, be sure to follow your usual disciplinary process and investigate the complaint thoroughly before taking any action. If you are informed of an allegation during the party itself, send those involved home and handle the incident with care when back in the office. Don’t be tempted to discipline those affected during the event.
Communicate the essential information in good time
Be sure to communicate (staff email, posters, invites etc.) the time, date and location of the Christmas party including a suggested finishing time, so employees have plenty of time to plan their journey home. Where needed, order taxis in advance and DO NOT let employees drive home if intoxicated.
Should you have any questions, please get in touch! We offer ‘Human Resources Professional’ - a software package that’s a trusted source of guidance for thousands of companies! It also includes a HR helpline that’s available 9am-5pm.
We’d like to take this opportunity to wish you a happy festive season and a fantastic new year!