Inappropriate behaviour at your work functions
7 ways to avoid inappropriate behaviour at your work functions
by Charles Power Editor-in-Chief, Employment Law Practical Handbook
Taking the following steps will help you to reduce the chances that inappropriate behaviour ‚ ¨ and subsequent legal action! ‚ ¨ will occur at your work functions:
- Ensure employees understand that the rules for appropriate workplace behaviour also apply at work functions ‚ ¨ consider promoting your code of conduct prior to the function so everyone knows what is expected of them.
- Limit employees’ ability to consume excessive amounts of alcohol. You could do this by:
- not making alcohol the focus of your function;
- avoiding table service and top-ups to make it easier for employees to keep track of how many drinks they have had;
- not serving alcohol during speeches and other formalities;
- providing plenty of free water and other non-alcoholic drinks;
- limiting drinks to beer and wine and avoiding serving drinks with a high alcohol content; and
- ensuring there is enough food provided and that all dietary requirements are catered for.
- Remind employees that it is their responsibility to drink alcohol responsibly and legally.
- Ensure that all employees are aware of the repercussions of excess drinking and of the legal driving limits.
- Provide transport or taxi vouchers to ensure employees get to and from the function safely.
- Plan for managing intoxicated guests.
- Designate an employee to monitor behaviour during the function.
Taking these steps will put you in a better position to defend any harassment or discrimination claim, on the grounds that you took reasonable steps to prevent it from occurring.