Is Drunk and Disorderly Behaviour at your Summer Party to be Tolerated?
With the glorious weather finally upon us the season for Summer parties and outdoor corporate events has finally arrived. Most companies will supply an endless amount of alcohol at such events to keep clients happy, but which will also be available to employees. As it’s a work event you can still expect a certain level of behaviour from your employees…or can you? This decision from the Australian tribunal has set our Pimms glasses a flutter today as we question: does serving unlimited alcohol to your employees absolve them of their duty to act responsibly? The Australian tribunal says yes, we suspect Her Majesty’s Courts & Tribunals Service will say no. Misconduct is a potentially fair reason for dismissal, and as long as you as an employer have clear policies and rules in place, and follow a fair procedure, you can avoid a finding of unfair dismissal if you dismiss an employee following unacceptable behaviour at a work event – regardless of who supplies the alcohol. The balance can be tricky though and factors such as length of service, previous record, type of event, even the personal circumstances of the individual, can all have an impact on the outcome. It’s key to treat each case on its own facts, whilst having clear rules in place ahead of any boozy event.
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