What you need to know
Everyone enjoys a good Christmas party but it is important to be aware of the risks associated with work functions. To ensure it runs smoothly and there are no hiccups, it is best to have some ground rules in place:
- Firstly, it is a good idea to put an employee in charge of monitoring the party, such as a senior manager to keep an eye out for any potential issues.
- Prior to the party go over some rules that must be adhered to, reiterating that although this is a party the workplace policies and procedures will still be applicable. You can do this through an email stating that the party is a work function and employees should conduct themselves in an appropriate manner.
- Monitor alcohol consumption by providing limited alcoholic beverage options, providing non-alcoholic drinks and ensuring employees who may be intoxicated get home safely by securing them a ride home.
- Choose a suitable venue and time for the party that is appropriate, safe and easily accessible for all employees.
- If there are any issues at the party such as an incident or any complaints afterwards, they should be investigated promptly and any follow through procedures should be implemented as soon as possible.
- It is best practice to have a policy in place regarding work functions.
An employer may close-down a business or part of their business to allow employees to take annual leave as long as;
- The employer gives at least four weeks’ of notice
- The employee has enough accrued annual leave for the period of the close-down and is paid for that leave at the applicable wage rate
- An employee who has not accrued enough leave to cover the period of the close down is able to take paid annual leave for the amount of leave they have accrued and the remainder of the close down would be classified as unpaid leave
- Any leave taken by an employee due to a close-down still counts as service
- The employer may only close down the business or part of the business for one or two separate periods in a year and one of these periods must be for at least 14 consecutive days including non-working days
- The employer and majority of employees can agree to the business or part of it being closed down for three separate periods in a year as long as one of the periods is at least 14 days including non-working days
- The employer may close down the business or part of it for at least 14 days including non-working days and allow the balance of any annual leave to be taken in one continuous period in accordance with a roster.
Annual leave loading
- Day work: an employee who would have worked a day shift if they had not been on leave must be paid a loading of 17.5% of their wages
- Shift work: an employee who would have worked shift work if they had not been on annual leave must be paid a loading of 17.5% of their wages or the shift loading including relevant weekend penalty rates, whichever is the greater but not both.
- Night work in a newspaper office: an employee who would have worked a night shift if they had not been on leave must be paid a loading of 17.5% plus an amount equal to the average of all night work allowances paid to the employee over the whole of the annual leave period.
Annual leave in advance
An employer and employee can agree in writing for the employee to take paid annual leave before the employee has accrued this leave. The agreement must;
- State the amount of leave to be taken in advance and the date on which the leave is to commence
- Be signed by the employer and employee and, if the employee is under 18 years of age, by the employee’s parent or guardian
- Be kept as part of the employer’s records
- If the employee’s employment is terminated before they have accrued the period of leave taken in advance, then the employer can deduct the equivalent of this amount from the employee’s termination payment.
On behalf of the Printing Industries HR team we would like to take this opportunity to wish all of our wonderful members a Merry Christmas and a safe holiday season!
For more information or assistance, please contact the friendly workplace relations team
Telephone: 1800 835 167