Dry January to December? The future of work parties?
Most of the misconduct at work party cases I advise on (which have included harassment, assault and rape) involve alcohol and in my experience there is still an unhealthy reliance on the provision of alcohol to ‘reward’ staff.
Interestingly, according to a recent CMI study only 42% of managers surveyed were against work events involving alcohol – BBC article below.
Open bars and providing alcohol without substantial food often cause issues and overnight events are always higher risk.
Reminding staff about expected behaviours and of your zero tolerance approach to discrimination (referring back to your embedded training programme) are key, as is making it clear that any ‘after party’ will not approved or supported by the business.
HR understandably sometimes leave such events early, to allow staff to feel they can ‘let their hair down’, and hence managers must step up and be on high alert to take responsibility for the welfare of their teams until the last team member safely leaves the event (in a taxi if necessary).
Posted on Wednesday 10th May 2023
This article/blog is for reference purposes only. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. Specific legal advice about your specific circumstances should always be sought separately before taking or deciding not to take any action.
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David has acted for a number of employers dealing with complaints about alleged actions by their employee which if proven would amount to criminal acts.