Over the next few weeks, New Zealand workplaces will be taking a moment to head off and celebrate the end of the challenging year that 2020 has been. More often than not, work Christmas parties are harmless and a great way to boost team spirit. However, it is important employers tread carefully as there may be consequences if these parties are not handled properly.
Whilst no-one likes a Christmas Grinch, work-related Christmas parties are notorious for quickly evolving from fun celebrations to messy behaviour. If employers aren’t careful, these events can result in a much larger headache or expense than otherwise expected.
Regardless of where the party is held, and whether it is inside or outside of normal business hours, both employers and employees still have health and safety responsibilities and it is important to keep in mind that inappropriate conduct at a work party can lead to disciplinary outcomes. There is a long list of things that could potentially go wrong, including;
With the festive season right around the corner, prevention of work party disasters is better than cure. So how do you balance pulling off a great event, without enabling unruly staff behaviour that could have long term consequences for both the organisation and staff members?
Here are some tips on organising a safe Christmas Party, without ruining any fun:
What should you do if something goes wrong?
If an employee’s behaviour diverges into misconduct (such as theft, violence, sexual harassment, damage to property etc.), employers should act promptly and fairly when investigating and carrying out any disciplinary process.
Given the complexities that can arise from a work party misconduct situation, it’s a good idea to get legal advice. If you require any advice or assistance, our experienced Employment law team at Wakefields Lawyers are here to help.
Please get in contact at 0800 LEGAL 1 or firstname.lastname@example.org.