If you’re a business owner or HR manager, now is usually the time of year that the excitement starts to build for the mid-year or end-of-financial-year party. And while we’re no experts on planning unforgettable events, we are here to remind you how your party is memorable for all the right reasons.

Now that you’ve signed off on the menu, theme, venue, and music, it’s time to remember compliance measures. This can often be forgotten on this very important list, so to help protect your business, our experts have prepared this party-planning compliance to ensure your night out doesn’t become an HR nightmare.

So, let’s get into it!

1. Back to basics: setting the ground rules

Setting the standards of behaviour for your team is the first crucial step in reminding them that while this event is taking place outside of regular working hours, it is still a work event and must be safe for all. This includes telling employees they should monitor and control how much they drink, and safe travel options to and from the venue. By setting out these ground rules, you’re ensuring that employees are aware of the expectations of acceptable behaviour, and the consequences of unacceptable behaviour.

2. Managing supply and demand

When it comes to parties, alcohol is often an option and while it’s up to individuals to monitor how much they consume, you can take proactive steps to ensure consumption doesn’t get out of hand. These steps range from setting a limit on the company bar tab, restricting beverage options available and communicating responsible drinking expectations. There are obvious financial benefits from these restrictions but it’s also worth remembering, that while these decisions might be considered unpopular, alcohol and misconduct can be a nasty duo – and you don’t want to be dealing with the consequences if anything should go wrong.

3. Is it secure?

CCTV is a common security measure used at many establishments, but it’s always a good idea to ensure that there are appropriate security measures in place for the size of your party. Whether that means hiring additional guards or coming to an arrangement with the venue for extra staff, it never hurts to have plans in place to help if something does go astray.

4. Safety comes first: first aid

Accidents, emergencies, and incidents don’t have a schedule for when they’ll happen, they just do – and the best you can do is be prepared for them. Parties, big or small, need to have quick access to medical assistance just in case something goes wrong and for this reason, ensuring you know where the nearest hospital is located, have a qualified first aider in attendance who is designated as the responsible first aid person for the evening and a designated sober person or group, for this reason, is a must for every party planner.

5. Travel: are there options for staff?

Transportation for work events should be arranged by the company, especially where alcohol is being provided. This can be as simple as directing employees to the nearest taxi rink or public transport station, or it may require a bus hire or Uber for business. However you decide to proceed, you should take all reasonable steps to ensure employees get to their front doors safely. The last thing you want is for your employees to be stranded after a night of fun, not to mention the workplace health and safety risks to the business.

6. Policy refresher for employees

Around this time of year, it’s a good idea to send around a copy of your company’s Code of Conduct Policy and any other relevant policies (such as Company Events or similar policy) to your employees reminding them of their obligations. After all, staff are still representing the company especially if there are clients invited! enableHR makes this simple – you can send around your relevant policies to staff through our Self-Service module allowing you to track which employees have read and acknowledged the policies. And if any incident arises, you have up-to-date and immediate access to records to prove that the employee was aware of their obligations.

It might be a good time for everyone to let their hair down and have a good time, but employers must remember that work events, in the eyes of the law, are considered to be workplaces and it’s vital that they’re just as safe and secure as any other worksite.

We’re here to answer your questions, guide you towards compliance and point out all the helpful tricks and tools within enableHR, so if you need support please contact us.