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News Bulletin : ADA News Bulletin December 2010
16 DECEMBER 2010 THE DOS AND DON'TS of company Christmas functions Company Christmas parties are a great opportunity to reward staff, encourage team building and a time for all staff to relax. However, if alcohol is served then you have to be aware that sometimes things can get out of hand. These functions are an extension of the workplace; therefore it is important that employees are aware of the expected appropriate behaviour as risks arising from harassment and OH&S may eventuate. The following points outline the standard of behaviour expected of employees: • Avoid excessive consumption of alcohol. • Any use of illegal drugs is expressly prohibited. • Company policy regarding smoking applies. • Swearing, abusive language and harassment is not permitted. • Employees must take reasonable care of facilities and equipment. • Respect to other staff. Blatant disregard of these guidelines is a matter for discipline and non complying employees, and in serious cases, may result in dismissal. WHAT SHOULD EMPLOYERS DO? Employers have a responsibility to take reasonable steps to ensure the safety and health of employees at any staff social function. This includes providing an environment free of discrimination and harassment. The tips below can assist with reducing the risks of workers compensation claims, OH&S obligation breaches and other unlawful claims such as sexual harassment. Listed below are some tips for employers to ensure that staff social functions do not get out of hand: • Before the function, remind employees of company policy in relation to alcohol consumption, dress, drugs, bullying and harassment. Particular risk areas to be aware of include joke 'Kris Kringle' gifts, staff awards and skits as some may be deemed offensive to certain staff. • Ensure responsible service and consumption of food and non- alcoholic beverages. • Discourage excessive drinking and remind employees of the dangers of drink-driving. • Take reasonable steps to ensure the consumption of alcohol is limited. • Management to role model appropriate conduct and responsible supervision. • Ensure employees have made arrangements to get home safely, and set definite start and finish times, or make appropriate transport arrangements if alcohol will be served. • Ensure your company has a complaints process which includes appropriate action and resolution should concerns arise. BEST PRACTICE Employers should prepare for company Christmas functions in advance as a preventive approach as this will reduce Christmas party disasters and having to deal with any repercussions. Before acting on any of the information in the above article, please contact the friendly team at the ADA HR Advisory Service on: Phone: 1300 ADA INC (1300 232 462) Fax: 02 9993 9709 Email: email@example.com The ADA HR Advisory Service is available from 8:30 am -- 5:00 pm AEST Monday to Friday. 'The answer could be just a phone call away'
ADA News Bulletin November 2010
ADA News Bulletin February 2011