Reminding you of potential issues arising from work functions

News >> Employment Practices Liability

Reminding you of potential issues arising from work functions

It is that time of year again. Drinks and social functions with clients and staff Christmas parties are happening all around Australia. Unfortunately though, it sometimes does not always turn out to be the fun and enjoyable occasion it is intended to be. In fact many an incident has occurred leading to claims for compensation.

Employer Obligations

  • Staff, even though they are at client functions and Christmas parties remain employed by the Company. Therefore if they are injured during the evening, it will be a Workers compensation claim under most legislation.
  • There is a duty of care in common law to provide a safe workplace and protect the employees. Make sure the venue chosen is safe and little chance of injury. The venue or property owner may also be liable if an injury occurred. However, the duty of care of an employer is not able to be taken away and therefore their responsibility will likely also remain even when the venue is at fault
  • Occupational Health and Safety penalties should a breach occur still apply
  • Employers are vicariously liable for the actions of their employees, and this includes discrimination and harassment. Do not let policies that apply all year be ignored because there is a party. Alcohol does not always bring out the best behaviour in everyone
  • Remember the boundaries and relationships that exist during the working day. You need to maintain these and not disclose confidential information, or in other way change the parameters of those relationships during the function.
  • These obligations must continue on into the night if the party moves to a pub or night club, especially when management attends and the corporate card goes over the bar.

Suggestions for employers

  • Check the premises for safety and whether they have appropriate risk management procedures in place
  • Make sure staff are aware of the company’s occupational health and safety, drug and alcohol policies and if necessary have them reviewed.
  • Provide enough food and water with any alcohol
  • Be aware of guests dietary requirements, including allergies as well as moral or religious diets
  • Make sure appropriate security is available in case there is the possibility of gatecrashers
  • Monitor the function and provide assistance to anyone who appears to be becoming affected by alcohol
  • Intervene immediately if any potential conflict situation occurs
  • If there is sudden illness or injury, call an ambulance straight away
  • Make sure you have an end time for the event and make arrangements that this is announced at that time
  • Where possible provide assistance for staff to get home such as taxi or cab charge vouchers.

Employees obligations.

  • Remember this is a function for the Company to thank staff, clients or suppliers and is not a night out like you would have with your own personal friends
  • Remember to eat when you drink, and keep drinking water
  • At client functions, remain dignified and in control, regardless of how much fun the clients seem to be having. You are technically the hosts.
  • Dress sensibly and conservatively rather than something that leaves little for the imagination
  • Avoid drunken career limiting moves such as telling the Boss how hopeless he is.

Keep the above in mind and you should have a successful event ready for  a merry Christmas and a happy new year! 

Last changed: Dec 10 2011 at 3:48 PM


  1. None Found

Add Comment

Latest News

Finalist in the Insurance Industry Awards

We were pleased to be advised this week that we are a finalist in the Australian Insurance Industry Awards in the category of Most Outstanding Authorised Representative Business for 2019.

Our company very much appreciates the accolade and just being nominated is prestigious to us. The awards ceremony is in August and we will see how we go, but being in the Top 4 is a credit to our team who have worked tremendously hard in the last eight years.

read more

2019 Insurance Brokerage of the Year

CPR Insurance Services are so proud to be awards for the second year in a row, "Australian Insurance Brokerage of the Year (1-5 staff)". To win this award two years running is very much a fantastic achievement and reflects the high standard we have maintained in the last two years.

We very much thank our hard working staff, Ausure Insurance Brokers our licence holder, the Steadfast Group, NIBA and LMI who have supported us with resources and services to meet the demands of our clients.

And of course we thank all our clients for their fantastic support over the eight years of our business, who if not for them, we would not have a business. Thank you.

read more