The Small Firms Association (SFA) issued a statement today (16 December) to advise small businesses to be mindful of their staff and own behaviour at work Christmas parties this year.
Understandably staff social outings are a great way to show appreciation and to boost staff morale but pre-emptive action is advisable to reduce negative repercussions for all concerned.
Patricia Callan, SFA Director, commented: “Staff parties can show our employees deserved appreciation at the end of a busy year. We all understand the benefits of a social outing on team building too. However, these social events also have the potential to provide a context for inappropriate behaviour that could have serious repercussions.”
The SFA is reminding employers that in some cases, work parties can been seen as an extension of the workplace and also to take staff’s journeys home into consideration.
Callan added, “An employer can be held liable for anything done by the employee in the course of employment. In this regard, a work related event is seen as an extension of the workplace and it is important that employers and employees are aware of their obligations from the outset.
“It is recommended that prior to the Christmas party, employees are reminded about existing employment policies e.g. disciplinary, bullying, harassment, social media etc. and are informed that they apply to work related social events. In addition, employees should be encouraged to plan their journeys home from the party in advance to reduce the risk of employees drink driving.”
It also outlined that if a member of staff airs a grievance about an incident that may have arose at the Christmas party, to take it seriously and to follow company procedures in the normal way. Bearing all the above in mind, employers can enjoy the event with peace of mind.
“Taking the above action in advance will greatly assist employers navigate their way through the Christmas party season without any serious repercussions”, concluded Callan.
© 2016 - Checkout Magazine by Donna Ahern