It is that time of the year, for some of us, that means a break and time to relax. Before we do though, Christmas is a great period of the year to reward our staff for their hard work and dedication during the year. There are many ways to do this, however being the trade industry, many of these ways involve alcohol. That of course means we need to be responsible for our staff at any Christmas parties we may host.
What You Need To Know As A Business Owner – Christmas Parties
We’ve had a few different types of Christmas parties in our time. One thing remains consistent for us though and that is family involvement. That family focus has provided us with parties that end before anyone is intoxicated, though it didn’t absolve us from our responsibility as employers.
There are a few things you need to do to cover yourself legally, and then a few tips here that might help you and your team.
Notify Your Team
Send an email notifying your team of your expectations as a business for attendees of your Christmas party. You’ll need to spell out clearly that you do not accept any sexual harassment or bullying, remind them that the same code of ethics they require on the job site, are required at the party. Use this opportunity to inform them of the conditions around serving alcohol, for example beer and wine will be served from 5.30-8pm spirits can be purchased during this time also.
This is also a good time to point out they will need a designated driver on the night (unless you are happy to provide a way home) and that Monday is a normal work day and attendance is mandatory.
Responsible Service Of Alcohol
First and foremost, it is essential that you adhere to the responsible service of alcohol guidelines. My tip here is to host your Christmas party at a venue to relieve you of that total responsibility. I don’t have an RSA card, and I don’t want to be solely responsible if our team of adults have too much to drink, so we outsource.
If you really want to have your party in a private place, you can hire in a bar team to assist, and again dilute your level of responsibility.
Plan An Activity
I highly advocate planning an activity. Try and escape room, laser tag, paintball, barefoot bowls, or wine and paint class. When you have an activity, you have a distraction, and hopefully this turns into less alcohol consumed in your time.
Water, Water, WATER
Do you very best to keep your team hydrated. Provide water for in between drinks. I also suggest ensure that everyone has a meal of some description. Even nibbles will help keep the team as sober as possible. Alternatively, why not host a alcohol free Christmas party? There is no rule that says that drinking needs to be allowed.
Ensure Their Safety As They Leave
You final responsibility as your staff leave your Christmas party is to ensure they are all safe at the completion. On some occasions members of your team may stay on with their team mates, in this case, ensure that you check in with each person, and make sure they have a safe way home.
If you are all leaving the venue together, consider ways you can assist them in getting home safely. A bus, Uber, Taxi or a sober designated driver will help.
As a business owner it is up to you to ensure you do all that is practically possible to keep your staff safe. This shouldn’t stop you all from enjoying this down time together and with these few tips, you too can keep them safe and enjoy your time.
Are you hosting a Christmas party this year? Got any Christmas party stories to share?