4 Easy Tips to limit your liability for your office Christmas Party!

4 Easy Tips to limit your liability for your office Christmas Party!

April 8, 2016 Compliance
4 Easy Tips to limit your liability for your office Christmas Party! -

It’s that silly time of year again, and for many that means it’s time for the annual Office Christmas party. We’ve all been there, watching Janice from Accounting drink her second bottle of wine whilst trying to convince James from IT to join her on the karaoke stage – but at what stage do you as an employer become liable for the actions of employees? (Bad singing not withstanding).

The Commission has shown in recent cases that a work Christmas Party can be considered a ‘workplace’, which lands the Employer in the hot seat if something goes awry. So, what can you do to limit your exposure?

  1. Set clear times and locations when holding a function – this may help prevent liability for actions taken by employees after the end of the event.
  2. Email all staff prior to the commencement of the function to remind them of their responsibilities and obligations to adhere to Company policies whilst at the event. Sending copies of vital policies, such as Sexual Harassment Policies and Codes of Conduct as a ‘refresher’ is recommended.
  3. Have a designated ‘responsible person’ at the function to monitor behaviour and alcohol consumption as much as reasonably possible.
  4. Avoid Employer planned after-parties – as people drink more the likelihood of something going awry is much higher, so keep the Company function separate by setting clear end times and not actively encouraging after parties.

Despite all your best efforts, what do you do if something does go wrong? Quite simply, you need to start investigating it by conducting interviews and following due process. If you’re not sure what to do, get expert advice to guide you through by calling HR On-Demand on 1300 55 99 62. Remember, following the correct process now could save you a lot of money in the long run.

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