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News Bulletin : ADA News Bulletin August 2011
22 AUGUST 2011 SOCiAL WORK FunCtiOnS and expected standard of behaviour During certain times of the year, organisations hold social functions and special event functions for a variety of reasons for members, staff, clients and visitors. Social functions are an integral part of most workplaces and can provide a great opportunity to encourage team building and can be used as a beneficial tool to promote good working relationships both internally and with clients. Organisations have a responsibility to take reasonable steps to ensure the safety and health of visitors, employees, association members and clients at any work-related social function. This includes a duty of care under Occupational Health and Safety and Equal Employment Opportunity legislation to provide an environment free of discrimination, harassment and bullying whether the function is held in an offsite or onsite location. It is important for companies to be proactive in averting any potential claims of sexual harassment and bullying by communicating clearly to staff and visitors the appropriate standards of behaviour expected during work functions through the company’s policy and codes of conduct. POLICy In the workplace, policies provide employees with a clear indication of what is expected of them and what they can expect from their employer. In general, policies are also developed as a legislative requirement to fulfil certain obligations such as a duty of care, which is required under OHS laws. Workplace policies are useful documents when disputes arise between employers and employees. The employer can rely on the policy for their course of action when the employee ought to have known their responsibility in relation to their alleged behaviour if a dispute was to develop. COdES Of COndUCT Codes of conduct are based on standards set by the employer to ensure ethical standards in the workplace, where policies are not regulated by law. These standards deal with the employee’s behaviour at work and towards other employees and their responsibilities towards the employer and company property. Codes of conduct also apply to visitors – these can outline and promote expected standards of behaviour and describe the consequences of a breach. TIPS fOR wORk SOCIAL fUnCTIOnS Listed below are some tips for organisations, clients, members and employees to consider when holding or attending work social functions: • Before the function, invitees should be reminded of company policies and standards of behaviour in relation to drugs, smoking and alcohol, dress code, bullying and harassment, in particular, sexual harassment; • Ensure your company has a grievance procedure in place which deals with any complaints should they arise; • Ensure employees are aware of the consequences to breaches of company policy such as warnings and depending on the seriousness of the breach that such behaviour may result in their dismissal; and • Ensure that management and senior staff are role models for appropriate behaviour. For further samples on workplace policies (e.g. drugs, smoking and alcohol, dress code, bullying and harassment) please contact the ADA HR Advisory service. For more information or assistance, please contact the friendly team at the ADA HR Advisory Service on: Phone: 1300 ADA INC (1300 232 462) Fax: 02 8448 3299 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org The ADA HR Advisory Service is available from 8.30 am–5.30 pm (AEST) Monday to Friday. ‘The answer could be just a phone call away’
ADA News Bulletin July 2011
ADA News Bulletin September 2011