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NH Consulting | Minimizing Risks at Work Functions
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Minimizing Risks at Work Functions

Author: Nerea Huidobro
November 2017

With only a few weeks until work Christmas functions begin, it’s a good time to revisit your obligations as an employer and/or manager. Whether it’s a staff Christmas function, or a work related function, there are steps managers can put in place to minimise the risks associated with end of year celebrations.

Employees are often excited by the approaching Christmas break. Social work functions are a great way to celebrate the end of year but also increase the chance of inappropriate workplace behaviours surfacing.

Putting the following steps in place as the festive season nears can help minimize risks that are often associated with alcohol and end of year parties.

  • If you haven’t already done so, review your existing Code of Conduct, Drug and Alcohol, Social Media and Equal Opportunity workplace policies.
  • Remind employees of their obligations, and refer to relevant policies at staff meetings and through other means of office communication.
  • Ensure workplace policies are accessible to all employees.
  • Invitations should clearly state start and finish times, and whether transport is being provided.
  • If providing transport, provide these details to employees, otherwise remind employees they are responsible for making their own travel arrangements.
  • Remind employees to act responsibility and respectfully while still enjoying themselves.
  • Alcohol consumption is no excuse for inappropriate behaviour or misconduct. Remind employees to drink responsibly.
  • Ensure the drinks menu provides low alcoholic options and water.
  • Ensure plenty of food is served whenever alcohol is being served.
  • Ask the person serving alcohol to report any concerns they might have during the function to the manager responsible.
  • Employees relocating to another venue to continue partying should be reminded that it is no longer a work function.
  • Employees representing their employer at work related functions also need to be reminded of their obligations and that workplace policies apply.

Managers have a responsibility to act responsibly, ensuring the safety and well-being of employees in attendance, which also means leading by example.

Minimizing risks at work related functions is not about limiting the fun but simply putting reasonable measures in place to minimize risks, whilst ensuring the safety of all employees.


HR Support

If you would like to find out more about developing and implementing workplace policies, tools and templates, managing behaviours and performance, or would like HR support for your business contact us at NH Consulting via email at or call 0417582036 for a no obligation chat about how we can best assist you and your team.