This Thursday is Halloween and here in the UK, celebrations to mark the date are a growing trend, with many workplaces now getting into the fiendish fun! 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 employers 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’.
When incidents have occurred that affect the wellbeing of employees or undermine the company culture, it is important to address them in a way that is effective and legal. For more information about handling employee grievances and incidents read out blog here.
Halloween can be a great excuse to have some fun with colleagues, you just need to set some boundaries and be clear on what is crossing the line when celebrating Halloween in the workplace.
If you need any further support or have any questions surrounding this issue or need further HR advice, please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0203 5385 311.