As festivities mark the onset of the office Christmas season, HR expert Donna Obstfeld, founder of DOHR and an established author, urges employers to remain vigilant about looming HR legislation and their obligations.

Obstfeld emphasizes the paramount responsibility of employers for the safety and well-being of their staff, especially during office events. She cautions against neglecting this duty, urging employers to consider various aspects while the celebrations unfold.

Preventative Measures and Legislative Responsibilities

Expressing the significance of preventing sexual harassment during such gatherings, Obstfeld highlights that alcohol cannot excuse any inappropriate behavior. Stressing the impending legislation focused on this issue, she urges employers to treat this matter seriously and take proactive steps to maintain a safe environment.

Further, she underscores the importance of inclusivity, urging employers to consider dietary requirements, accessibility, and the timing of the event. She emphasizes that accommodating diverse needs, including dietary restrictions and accessibility for individuals with disabilities, should be a priority.

As the year draws to a close, Donna Obstfeld’s advice extends beyond the festive season, focusing on the forthcoming legislative changes that employers should anticipate in the coming year. Her insights include critical areas such as sexual harassment prevention, leave policies for carers, consultation on Tupe (Transfer of Undertakings Protection of Employment), pregnancy and maternity protections, and data protection.

Annual Leave Considerations and Compliance

Obstfeld also draws attention to annual leave considerations. Reminding employers to assess the leave entitlements of their employees, she underscores the importance of complying with regulations regarding annual leave allocation. She highlights the significance of ensuring that employees receive their entitled annual leave days, adhering to legal requirements.

Her caution extends to leave policies, advising employers against allowing leave to roll forward unless employees exceed the prescribed annual leave quota.

Amidst the festive cheer, Donna Obstfeld’s advice serves as a timely reminder for employers to navigate the celebratory season responsibly and prepares them for the evolving HR landscape in the upcoming year.