Client Update: 12 tips for the company holiday party
‘Tis again the season for the company holiday party. And while the party planners are starting to break out the eggnog, there are some lessons learned from seasons past to keep in mind to ensure that the party runs smoothly and safely for all.
Employers should be aware that they can be responsible both for what happens during the holiday party and, sometimes, for what happens after. With that in mind, and borrowing from the “12 days of Christmas”, here are our 12 tips for the company holiday party:
- Remind employees that they are to conduct themselves appropriately and that the company’s policies – including the anti-harassment, respectful workplace, and social media policies – continue to apply.
- Make attendance voluntary and invite significant others.
- No mistletoe.
- No open bar.
- If alcohol is offered, make sure to offer non-alcoholic options as well and to manage alcohol intake – for example, by providing drink tickets.
- Promote responsible drinking and hire professional bartenders.
- Ensure that plenty of food is available when serving alcohol.
- With its recent legalization, remind employees of the company’s policies in relation to Cannabis, which may include a ban on the use of recreational Cannabis at work events.
- For bigger parties you may also consider hiring security (if not provided by the host location). Alternatively, for smaller parties, consider designating someone to monitor the event.
- Distribute taxi vouchers (or other transport, such as chartering a bus) to ensure that everyone gets home safe and sound.
- Depending on the circumstances and location, arrange for there to be hotel rooms available nearby (perhaps at a discounted or group price) if anyone can’t make it home. Communicate such options to employees prior to the event.
- Security or the designated monitor should be keeping an eye out for anyone who may be impaired – whether due to alcohol or other substances including Cannabis. Any impaired guest should not be allowed to drive. If there is resistance, the authorities may need to be called.
Putting the above tips into practice is not about being a holiday “Grinch”, but taking reasonable steps in order to promote a holiday party that is both safe and merry.
This update is intended for general information only. If you have questions about the above, please contact a member of our Labour and Employment group.
Level Chan and Dante Manna On March 12, 2019, the Nova Scotia legislature introduced long anticipated amendments to the Pension Benefits Act (“PBA”) which, according to a statement by Finance Minister Karen Casey, are aimed…Read More
Julia Parent and Graham Haynes In the long-awaited decision in the case of Orphan Well Association v Grant Thornton Ltd, the Supreme Court of Canada held that end-of-life environmental cleanup obligations imposed by Alberta’s provincial…Read More
Michelle Chai & Jennifer Taylor Justice Ann Smith of the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia recently dismissed an action against a disability insurer for being out of time. The case, Richards Estate v Industrial Alliance…Read More
Chad Sullivan and Bryan Mills New Brunswick has recently introduced a new regulation under the Occupational Health and Safety Act on the topic of problematic workplace conduct. The change will bring New Brunswick in line…Read More
Jennifer Taylor In an important decision for the auto insurance industry, the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal has confirmed that future CPP disability benefits are indeed deductible from damages awarded in Nova Scotia cases for…Read More
Brian Johnston, QC and Matthew Jacobs Bill C-86, enacted as SC 2018, c. 27, will effect massive changes upon how federal labour and employment relations are regulated. They come into effect in 2019 with staggered…Read More
We can all make 2019 a success by building on the year that was. For employers, 2018 was a year of many notable developments in labour and employment law across the country. We saw Ontario…Read More
Level Chan and Dante Manna As 2018 comes to an end, we countdown some pension and employee benefits developments in the last year that we anticipate may lead to developments in 2019. Discrimination in benefits…Read More
Kevin Landry The first look at regulations for cannabis edibles, extracts and topicals has arrived. The Federal Government has opened a 60-day consultation period respecting the strict regulation of additional cannabis products. Notice of the consultation was accompanied…Read More