Silly season guide to employers

Could your business or you be at risk of an unwanted workplace claim as this year's Christmas bonus?

'Twas the night of the Christmas party, and all through the function, not an employee was causing a problem, (not even Steve from accounts). 

The clinking of glasses signalled your business success but it wasn’t long till someone invited an unwanted guest.

The popping of bottles turned to throwing of fists, there was little you could do to prevent the massive blue. 
Who would be responsible for the five staff now nursing sore heads in the loo?

Be warned!

The office party is around the corner. Sure, it’s a time for treating staff after another big year, but the festive season is also ripe with workplace risk: harassment incidents, injury claims and all-round headaches.

Before dusting off the Santa hat, have you seriously considered your responsibilities in protecting staff and the business? 

When lines of conduct are crossed, your first response may be to discipline staff, or even terminate employment if the transgression is severe. But leaping into action with good intentions can backfire horribly if the planning and processes are missing. Your business can be exposed to risk for just $70 – the cost of lodging a claim of unfair dismissal with the Fair Work Commission. 

Incidentally, an average unfair dismissal claim costs Australian businesses about $13,500, not to mention legal costs, reputation damage and productivity loss.   

Spread the word 

Make sure you have communicated to all staff the behaviour expected at the event, plus provided access to all business policies. Include separate conversations as part of your party communication plan with managers/supervisors on how to identify and handle any potential risk. This group should be confident in handling any situations that may get out of hand. 

One of the tricky things to navigate is ticking off all your tasks with your HR hat on but in a way that won’t put a damper on their excitement.  

How do I do that??

Access your FREE Christmas Toolkit to get you prepared and protected for the silly season. Remember a Workplace Relation claim can be lodged for as little as $70 by an employee. Your toolkit contains:

1: DOWNLOAD, the easy to use checklist including which policies you need to get you party ready. 

2: DOWNLOAD, the infographic calling out the six character types that can kill the party vibe, raising a smile while reinforcing the message. Hang this in your communal areas to remind staff of what behaviour will not be tolerated.

Workplace Assured Complimentary Call

If you are interested in finding out more about the advice the Workplace Assured Workplace Advice Line can provide, you can access one complimentary phone call to get a workplace query answered. Call 1300 496 955 to speak with one of the Workplace Assured advisors. 

You can access further information about Workplace Assured from one of our Sales Managers who can also assist you with a free quote - email us at

Business SA Workplace Relations Consulting Services 

Business SA’s consultants are experts in their field and have assisted South Australian businesses in navigating complicated situations with positive outcomes. It can be fairly easy to end up on the wrong side of a workplace relations issue – making sure your business complies can be a minefield. With the complexities of ever-changing legislation, it makes sense to seek out experts who can simplify and explain exactly what you need to do to protect the interests of your business. Call 8300 0000 to speak with one of our Senior Workplace Relations Consultants.

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