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How to avoid your Christmas party going hAyWiRe!

22 November 2022

How to avoid your Christmas party going hAyWiRe!

The sound of Christmas carols and the planning of the work Christmas party has commenced, it’s that time of year again! Staff are keen to get festive and social with their colleagues, fun to be had by all! ………Next minute the Christmas party has gone hAyWiRe and you are left with an awkward situation to manage, what to do…..? As an employer there are steps you can take to minimise the impact on your business and ensure a safe environment.


Its beneficial to have a clear and concise plan that is communicated to all staff prior to the event outlining start and finishing times, location, options for staff to get home and the expected behaviours whilst attending the work function. An email communication with this detail followed up by conversations is an effective way to ensure the message is communicated effectively.

Start and Finish Times

It’s integral to specify clear start and finish times of the event as it’s a workplace function and employers have a duty of care. The workplace is bigger than just the office space, from a work, health and safety perspective this can span to workplace events such as the work Christmas party. Employers need to be clear on start and finishing times, any ‘after parties’ are not supported and provide safe options for staff to get home after the event such as cab vouchers, coordinating a bus service and selecting a central venue.

Expected Behaviours

Common sense can be left behind after a few alcoholic drinks and cause an array of issues for all concerned. Ensuring expected behaviors are communicated prior to the event and reference to any policies will support employers with managing any misconduct or unwanted behaviors. Communicating to staff ways in which they can mitigate such behavior, report any incidents and how to seek support minimises risks to employers.

It’s important to consider and identify who will be responsible for the safe service of alcohol, what steps will be taken if something goes wrong at the event and who will manage such behavior. Appointing ‘party police’ that will literally keep a watchful eye on the event and act promptly if any incidents occur will contribute to creating a safe environment. If any incidents do occur, act promptly and follow appropriate process to manage and mitigate any further risks to your organisation.

The Boring Stuff!

Training staff on bullying, harassment, discrimination and safety on the dos and don’ts at the work Christmas party prior to the event is beneficial. This content is best received when embedded into existing training, inductions and shared in a friendly email reminder prior to the event.

Policies are a must detailing what constitutes appropriate conduct, social media usage, dress code and alcohol consumption will not only protect employers but employees.

The above steps are a bit of a buzz kill but that doesn’t mean it needs to be a fizzle. The right steps and communication taken prior can allow everyone to relax and socialise in a safe environment.

If you have any questions on how to manage your Christmas party planning, what to communicate, need a policy review or are seeking advice please contact our Impact HR Consultants on 1300 474 672 or .


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