The festive season is well and truly upon us so we have some advice on Christmas parties and tips for shutdown over the festive period.
The Christmas party is usually the highlight of the workplace social calendar and whilst we don’t want to seem like the Grinch as employers you have a duty of care to all employees and as such you should take reasonable steps to ensure that everything runs smoothly on the night. The party itself is a great way to say thank you to staff for their hard work throughout the year and it can also a good team building exercise. However, sometimes a different venue and excess of alcohol can lead more than just a hangover the next day.
Here are some dos and don’ts…
- Don’t put undue pressure on anyone to attend the party. If a Christmas party is outside working hours, they are not obliged to attend.
- Do set a time limit for the party.
- Do remind staff of company policies and procedures such as Dignity at Work, Social Media and anti-bullying and make sure they understand the standard of conduct expected of them.
- Don’t get involved in inappropriate discussions. Parties are not the best location for discussions about performance, promotion, salary or career prospects.
- Do encourage employees to either pre-book taxis or to avail of late-night public transport options. You have an obligation to ensure your staff get home safely.
- Do tell employees that inappropriate behaviour at the Christmas party will not be tolerated and may lead to disciplinary action. Any complaints made after the Christmas party should be treated seriously and appropriate action taken.
- Do ensure that you have necessary staffing levels in place if a Christmas party precedes a working day. Employers should communicate to staff not to be at work under the influence of alcohol so that they do not endanger their own or another person’s health and safety at work.
- Do not drink and drive. “Morning After” drivers may still be over the limit the next morning and should not drive. The Gardai can conduct drug and alcohol tests at any time of the day and part of their Road safety campaign this festive season focuses on morning random breath testing.
Some useful links below: www.drinkaware.ie/tools-resources/workplace-wellbeing www.drinkaware.ie/facts/drink-driving
We all look forward to a well-deserved break over the festive period so the guidelines below can assist business owners and persons in charge prepare their premises for a safe shutdown and ensure
a good start to the New Year. The usual premises/site lock-up procedures apply but it is also worth considering the following:
- Switch off all the lights – lighting is a major contributor to energy use in any business and any non-essential lighting should be switched off.
- Turn down the heating – lowering the thermostat by just a few degrees can have a big impact on the heating bills but ensure that the heat is high enough to prevent potential frost damage.
- Unplug laptops on charge and log-off and switch off computers completely.
- Unplug any non-essential equipment – thinks like water coolers, small appliances and printers etc. Before leaving the premises it’s a good idea to have a look around to ensure everything is plugged out.
- Advise your clients, suppliers and contractors about your closed period.
- Consider putting skeleton cover in place over the holidays to make sure urgent issues don’t go unanswered.
- Adopt a risk managed approach to securing valuables such as stock and equipment. Use physical and electrical protections (locked boxes/security alarms/CCTV) but consider storage in dedicated locked storage areas or off site. For example, do not leave loaded up trailers on the service yard.
- Make sure that all risk management service providers have updated contact details of dedicated management team and key holders.
And finally, the team here at Compliplus would like to wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. We appreciate your business and look forward to working with you in the coming year.