Work social functions require appropriate workplace behaviour.

Having just enjoyed our end of year get together, it is easy to see that a Christmas party is a great way to celebrate the achievements of your employees and organisation over the past year. However, it is important to remind your employees that a work function still requires appropriate conduct for a workplace.

We recommend you remind your employees:

  • They must conduct themselves in a manner that is not likely to have an adverse impact on your organisation.
  • At all times the perception of them by members of the public is paramount.
  • Must not be so under the influence of alcohol that it would affect or impair their common sense or judgement in how they deal with their colleagues.
  • Harassment is unacceptable behaviour and refers to any conduct which is unwanted by the recipient, is considered objectionable, and causes humiliation, offence, distress or other detriment. It may be, but is not limited to:
    • physical contact (ranging from touching to serious assault, gestures, intimidation, aggressive behaviour),
    • verbal (unwelcome remarks, suggestions and propositions, malicious gossip, jokes and banter, offensive language), or
    • unwelcome behaviour of a sexual nature which can reasonably be regarded as offensive, or which may cause the recipient to feel as if they will be disadvantaged if they object to it.
  • Disciplinary action will be taken against an employee proven to have engaged in misconduct. It may take the form of counselling, verbal and written warnings or termination of employment.
  • That they can make a complaint in accordance with the Grievance Procedure, should any unwelcome behaviour occur at the party.
  • All complaints and reports of harassment, bullying or victimisation will be treated seriously and will be investigated in accordance with the grievance procedure.

The festive season can highlight the importance of having human resource policies and procedures. If any questions arise it is essential to refer to your organisation’s Code of Conduct Policy and your employment contracts to ensure an understanding between you and your employees. Remember with the new prevention of bullying laws that were introduced earlier this year by Fair Work Australia, any bullying complaint must be investigated.

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