There are some common misconceptions about work functions.

Work functions outside of work hours

A lot of people believe that any activity outside of work hours is not actually classified as a work function.

This is not the case. Your employment relationship can extend to out-of-hours functions. A workplace Christmas party is such an occasion. An employee may face disciplinary action for any conduct that may be deemed to damage the reputation or interests of the employer, including offensive, drunken, and violent behaviour. Any conduct that puts employees at risk of their health and safety may also warrant disciplinary action or potential termination.

Disciplinary action can’t be enforced once you leave a work function

The potential for disciplinary action does not stop once you have walked out the door of the work function. Current case law suggests that even a social gathering organised between colleagues can result in the potential for an employer to invoke disciplinary action in exceptional circumstances, including any conduct that occurs at other venues after the work function has finished.

I can post whatever I want on social media

Many employers have a social media policy, and employees need to comply with the policy requirements – even if they are not at work.

This is because social media activity may call into question your capacity to carry out your duties in a professional, responsible, and diligent manner. Further, you may be confronted with disciplinary action for any social media activity that breaches any of your employer’s policies and procedures or that reflects negatively upon your employer’s reputation or relationship with stakeholders.

Like to learn more?

To find out more about appropriate behaviour at work functions, please refer to the Sentrient appropriate behaviour at work functions online course from our website.

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