Next Monday is Halloween and here in the UK, celebrations around 31st October are a fairly new phenomenon, but gone are the days when we used to bob for apples and perhaps make a poorly crafted costume out of a discarded bed sheet. Halloween is now a big money making business.
There are definite business benefits to Halloween, injecting a little fun and joviality into the workplace, team building and stress reduction to name a few. But, there are a few things for employer’s to keep in mind.
Make sure if you have a fancy dress theme that your employees know what is and isn’t acceptable. Fancy dress has the scope to offend some groups. For example costumes that stereotype someone with a mental health issue or from a particular religion on nationality, could lead to a discrimination claim.
Also, what employees post on social media. Make sure that you have a good social media policy in place to make it clear that any inappropriate use of the internet could result in disciplinary action if it brings the company’s reputation into disrepute.
Your employees are adults, but just because it’s Halloween, it doesn’t mean that normal standards should slide and inappropriate behaviour should never be dismissed as ‘just a bit of fun’.
So let your employees enter into the spirit of the season if you wish to do so and remember that it’s only a few months until you face a whole new set of challenges in the shape of Christmas!!
Next month, we’ll be exploring the issues surrounding the festivities, and your responsibilities as an employer. Be sure to sign up for our updates so you get all the guidance that you need, delivered directly to your inbox.