Guideline: Work-related social functions
This document provides an overview of the responsibilities of Deans/Directors, manager/supervisors, and staff during work-related social functions.
- End-of-year parties and other social functions and events (for example: staff farewells, BBQs, morning tea etc) which originate, or are sponsored by any area of the University are sufficiently work-related to fall under a range of legislation and University policy including but not limited to Work Health and Safety legislation, discrimination legislation, and the ANU Liquor Statute and ANU Code of Conduct.
- The University has a duty of care to take reasonable steps to ensure all staff are safe and free from harassment and discrimination, including during work-related social functions. All staff are expected to understand their obligations and responsibilities to ensure the workplace is free from bullying, harassment, discrimination, injury and violence.
Deans, Directors and Research School Directors
- As senior members of the ANU community, Deans and Directors are expected to be proactive and continuously monitor the work environment to ensure that it is safe, and that the University is compliant with WHS duties and obligations. With oversight of work-related social functions, Deans and Directors are expected to:
- Maintain an awareness of all work-related social functions within their area of responsibility, including understanding and taking reasonable steps to minimise the hazards and risks associated with such activities.
- Take reasonable steps to ensure that managers and supervisors advise on and manage work-related social functions in accordance with relevant legislation, ANU policy, and with their responsibilities as outlined in this guideline.
- Ensure that staff within their area of responsibility are aware of their obligations under relevant legislation and ANU policy; and of their responsibilities when coordinating and/or attending work-related social functions.
Manager and supervisor responsibilities
- To limit the risk to staff during work-related social functions, it is recommended that managers and supervisors:
- Ensure appropriate delegate approval is sought in advance of all work-related social functions.
- If alcohol will be sold, supplied or consumed at work-related social functions held on University grounds and where less than 100 people are expected to attend the function, ensure prior written authorisation is sought from the relevant Dean or Director.
- If alcohol will be sold, supplied or consumed at work-related social functions on University grounds and more than 100 people are expected to attend the function, ensure prior written authorisation is sought from the Director – Facilities and Services via the Functions on Campus form.
- Understand and communicate to staff that all work-related functions and events, including informal and/or impromptu events and those organised by local work area social clubs, are an extension of the workplace. Consequently, even when events are held or progress to an offsite location, work-related expectations of appropriate behaviour and adherence to the ANU Code of Conduct are required.
- Issue a reminder to staff regarding the dangers of excessive drinking and encourage staff to make appropriate arrangements to get home safely following work-related social functions.
- If alcohol is made available, ensure that the Responsible Service of Alcohol (RSA) regulations are adhered to during the function, and take reasonable steps to ensure that the supply of alcohol is limited and that there is food and non-alcoholic drinks available.
- Ensure that all functions and events, including impromptu and informal events, are culturally sensitive; and where gift giving forms part of the event, remind staff that gifts must be appropriate.
- Have an appropriate designated member of staff supervise functions and events; and
- Ensure that functions and events have defined start and finish times, and notify staff of the defined times well in advance of the functions and events.
- During all work-related social functions and events, staff are required to ensure that their conduct and behaviour is in accordance with University policies and procedures including the ANU Code of Conduct and WHS legislation. This includes:
- Taking reasonable precautions for their own health and safety, and that of other staff.
- Refraining from any conduct including alcohol or substance abuse or misuse, which could adversely affect personal work performance or the safety and well-being of others.
- Engaging in conduct that is respectful of difference and not discriminate; and avoid behaviour that may be reasonably perceived as harassing, intimidating, overbearing, bullying or physically or emotionally threatening.
- Upholding the good name and reputation of the University; and refrain from acting in a way that would unfairly harm the reputation of the University including taking reasonable steps to ensure adequate protection of all confidential information.