If you are a business owner, Operations Manager or HR Manager, now is the time to start planning your office holiday party. We aren’t the experts on planning an unforgettable events. But we can provide you with tips to ensure your end-of-year party is memorable for the right reasons.

With all your effort going into organising a menu, theme and venue, compliance measures can fall by the wayside. To help protect your business, we’ve prepared a party-planning compliance checklist to protect your night out from becoming an HR disaster:

1. Set a limit on the bar tab

This will probably be an unpopular decision with staff. However, setting a limit on the bar tab will save you a lot of money and help avoid the onslaught of lawsuits which typically follow the holiday season. Alcohol and misconduct can be a nasty duo, and you have an obligation to ensure that your employees continue to act responsibly, even when off duty. A limitted bar tab communicates your expectations for drinking responsibly and may discourage employees from excessive alcohol consumption. No one likes paying for their own drinks!

2. Ensure adequate security at the venue

Security is another important consideration for Christmas parties. If the venue offers its own, the cheapest and most efficient option is to coordinate with their security to ensure the Christmas party runs smoothly. If the venue has no security, or what they have is insufficient for the size of your group, you may need to make additional arrangements. It also can’t hurt to inquire about the venue’s surveillance capabilities and policies. Hopefully your party won’t require either. Though, when something goes astray, surveillance and security footage may be crucial for gathering evidence about an event. Whether it’s employee misconduct or otherwise.

3. Consider medical assistance

At the party, there needs to be quick access to medical assistance in case of an accident or emergency. This may include locating the nearest hospital, or having someone in attendance who knows CPR. If you are planning your Christmas party in a remote location or on a boat, it is essential to have a dedicated medical resource in attendance. You never know what could happen, and you don’t want to be responsible for your employees not receiving immediate medical attention.

4. Organise transportation 

When planning the Christmas party, it is essential that transportation is organised by the company. This may be as simple as directing employees to the nearest cab rank or train station, or it may require a shuttle or cab charges. However you decide to proceed, you need to take all reasonable steps to ensure employees get home safely.

5. Remind employees of your drug and alcohol policy

It is a good idea to send around a copy of your company’s Drug and Alcohol Policy a week or two before the party to remind them of their obligations. After all, staff are still representing the company at the Christmas party, especially if clients have been invited. With the HRA Cloud, you can send our ‘Alcohol and Other Drugs’ and ‘Business and Social Functions’ policies to staff through our Self-Service module. This way you can track which employees have read and acknowledged the policy. If any incident arises, you have up-to-date and immediate access to the policy records to prove that the employee was aware of their obligations.

HR Assured takes care of the administrative part of HR, so you can focus on the fun stuff! Plan the best Christmas party ever. We’re keeping you up-to-date with employee records, drafting up policies and implementing contracts. Contact us or call us today for a free consultation on 1300 345 875