book a virtual meeting Search Search
brisbane

level 16, 324 queen st,
brisbane qld 4000
+61 7 3235 0400

dandenong

40-42 scott st,
dandenong vic 3175
+61 3 9794 2600

melbourne

level 7, 600 bourke st,
melbourne vic 3000
+61 3 8615 9900

sydney

level 21, 20 bond st,
sydney nsw 2000
+61 2 8298 9533

hello. we’re glad you’re
getting in touch.

Fill in form below, or simply call us on 1800 888 966

The Christmas and New Year period is always cause for celebration. This year, the challenges presented by COVID-19 have given us an extra reason to enjoy the company of our colleagues during the festive season.

COVID-19 considerations

As the infection rate remains low throughout Australia, and with the easing of COVID-19 restrictions, many employers will host or facilitate end-of-year functions for their workers, clients and other key personnel.

When arranging a work-related function, employers should take steps to ensure that they are compliant with current state-based COVID-19 restrictions and government recommendations. In particular, employers should consider whether:

  • there are any restrictions on the number of guests who can attend or other mandated requirements (such as the wearing of masks);
  • the venue is large enough to maintain social distancing requirements;
  • food and alcohol can be served in a safe and hygienic way; and
  • other adequate safety measures are in place, such as hand sanitiser being available.

Employers should also be sensitive to employees who may not wish to attend end of year functions due to health and safety concerns.

other legal risks

In addition to these novel considerations, employers and employees should always be mindful of the more general legal risks associated with work-related functions, including that:

  • employees who behave contrary to workplace policies or otherwise behave inappropriately can be subject to disciplinary action; and
  • employers can be held vicariously liable for the misconduct of their employees.

Employees must ensure their behaviour at work-related functions is lawful and in line with company policies and any Code of Conduct, while employers are obliged to take reasonable steps to mitigate non-compliance.

At a minimum, employers should:

  • have in place and remind staff of relevant workplace policies and the expected standards of behaviour, prior to work-related functions, including in relation to the responsible consumption of alcohol;
  • set clear parameters for such functions, including the location, and expected start and finish times; and
  • ensure there is an existing policy and/or plan of action in place to deal quickly and appropriately with any issues that might arise at a function.

If you would like further information about your obligations in relation to work-related functions, or if you require tailored and practical assistance developing the requisite policies and procedures or to deliver key communications to your workforce, please contact our Employment, Safety and Migration team.

stay up to date with our news & insights

tips for a safe end of 2020 work function

09 December 2020
erin mcleod

The Christmas and New Year period is always cause for celebration. This year, the challenges presented by COVID-19 have given us an extra reason to enjoy the company of our colleagues during the festive season.

COVID-19 considerations

As the infection rate remains low throughout Australia, and with the easing of COVID-19 restrictions, many employers will host or facilitate end-of-year functions for their workers, clients and other key personnel.

When arranging a work-related function, employers should take steps to ensure that they are compliant with current state-based COVID-19 restrictions and government recommendations. In particular, employers should consider whether:

  • there are any restrictions on the number of guests who can attend or other mandated requirements (such as the wearing of masks);
  • the venue is large enough to maintain social distancing requirements;
  • food and alcohol can be served in a safe and hygienic way; and
  • other adequate safety measures are in place, such as hand sanitiser being available.

Employers should also be sensitive to employees who may not wish to attend end of year functions due to health and safety concerns.

other legal risks

In addition to these novel considerations, employers and employees should always be mindful of the more general legal risks associated with work-related functions, including that:

  • employees who behave contrary to workplace policies or otherwise behave inappropriately can be subject to disciplinary action; and
  • employers can be held vicariously liable for the misconduct of their employees.

Employees must ensure their behaviour at work-related functions is lawful and in line with company policies and any Code of Conduct, while employers are obliged to take reasonable steps to mitigate non-compliance.

At a minimum, employers should:

  • have in place and remind staff of relevant workplace policies and the expected standards of behaviour, prior to work-related functions, including in relation to the responsible consumption of alcohol;
  • set clear parameters for such functions, including the location, and expected start and finish times; and
  • ensure there is an existing policy and/or plan of action in place to deal quickly and appropriately with any issues that might arise at a function.

If you would like further information about your obligations in relation to work-related functions, or if you require tailored and practical assistance developing the requisite policies and procedures or to deliver key communications to your workforce, please contact our Employment, Safety and Migration team.