As we approach the festive party season, we want to take a moment to emphasise the importance of maintaining a safe and respectful environment during work-related social events. While these gatherings are meant to celebrate the hard work and achievements of the past year, it’s crucial for employers to uphold Health and Safety standards for all employees in attendance.
To mitigate the risk of issues such as bullying, harassment, and misconduct arising from these events, we recommend the following preventative measures:
• Inclusive Invitations:
Extend invitations to all employees, even those on extended leave. Inclusivity fosters a positive workplace culture.
• Reiterate Dignity at Work Policy:
Re-circulate the company’s Dignity at Work Policy ahead of any events, explicitly mentioning its applicability to work-related social events.
• Disciplinary Awareness:
Clearly outline the potential disciplinary actions, including dismissal, for breaches of the Dignity at Work policy during social events.
• Communication of Policies:
- Ensure employees are familiar with the company’s Disciplinary and Grievance Procedures, emphasising the importance of responsible behaviour.
- Re-circulate the social media Policy ahead of any events to prevent privacy infringements or damage to the company’s reputation resulting from online posts.
- Communicate the company’s Absence Policy for events scheduled on work nights, promoting responsible attendance.
- Brief management on policies and procedures, empowering them to address inappropriate behaviour should it occur.
• Conversation Guidelines:
Advise against discussions on sensitive topics to avoid potential conflicts.
• Accessible Venues:
Ensure event locations are accessible to all employees, including those with disabilities.
• Dietary Considerations:
Select venues that cater to various dietary requirements to accommodate all employees.
• Safe Transit Options:
Encourage safe transit home by providing details of local public transport or suggesting prebooking taxis.
• Zero Tolerance for Driving Under the Influence:
Take a strong stance against driving under the influence, prioritising the safety of all employees.
Additionally, in the spirit of inclusivity, consider rebranding the Christmas Party as an “End of Year Celebration” to make all employees feel welcome or make it clear that the celebration of Christmas is not a requirement of celebrating this event.