Safeguarding your business and staff this festive season
- AuthorCatherine Almeida
"Our annual Christmas party is coming up, but I’m concerned about keeping our employees safe and protecting our company's reputation. What measures can we take to ensure there are no issues?"
Employers are ultimately legally responsible for what happens at an officially organised staff Christmas party.
Therefore, the safety of your staff and protecting your company’s reputation during the night out is your responsibility.
You should ensure that all staff are reminded ahead of the night out that their conduct reflects the workplace, and as such any inappropriate behaviour will not be welcomed.
As with any Christmas party, staff may want to indulge in a few alcoholic drinks, however, it could also be wise to discuss excessive drinking ahead of the party, and caution staff against this.
You could consider sending out an email in advance detailing what behaviour could be deemed unacceptable, and what will not be tolerated or could be dangerous – such as excessive drinking.
This way you have clearly outlined your stance and hopefully minimised any potential safety issues facing staff and any risk to the business.
Social media use when drinking should also be discussed in advance of the party to ensure staff don’t post anything that could damage the company’s reputation.
As an employer, it’s also wise to distance yourself from any unofficial after-parties - make it clear that any venues staff may attend after the official party are not linked to your company celebration. This will help to safeguard you against any potential issues which arise after the office party ends.
It is also advisable to ensure that food is available if staff are drinking and also make non-alcoholic drinks available during the party to ensure staff have alternative options to alcohol.
Finally, if the party is taking place a distance from the office, we would suggest providing transport for staff to ensure they can get home safely.
The question posed is based upon a hypothetical situation.