The Race That Disrupts Workplaces Across The Nation

Published:

The race that stops a nation on Tuesday 5 November, the Melbourne Cup, will present multiple distributions and complications for employers dealing with the impact on their workforce.

LOSS OF PRODUCTIVITY.

If you live or work in Victoria, the good news, is Melbourne Cup day is considered a public holiday. 

For the other 'unlucky' States and Territories, the celebration is simply another ordinary working day. However, the 'race that stops the nation' naturally halts many workplaces, where varying degrees of celebration and festivities are a common part of workplace culture.

While many workplaces will pause for the race, some employers might argue that the loss in productivity is detrimental to the overall business and disruption to clients may look unprofessional. However, Isabella Zamorano a Senior Employment Relations Adviser at Employsure says there are some benefits of allowing employees to take the afternoon off to celebrate the festivities.

"By allowing employees time away from work to attend events like a Melbourne Cup lunch, teams will benefit from bonding time together outside work, getting to know each other in a more casual environment. Social events can encourage staff to stay in their jobs longer."

Ms Zamorano adds, "We know that by offering additional benefits such as time off work for events, your employees might speak more favourably about working at your business to others thus providing positive exposure for your business."

SICKIES.

For some employees, an afternoon off may not be enough time to celebrate (or recover) so they may be tempted to 'chuck a sickie' on the following day or extend the normal two-day weekend to four days, by taking the Monday off sick. In doing so they might be taking non-genuine leave. 

Ms Zamorano says employers should 'saddle up' for an influx of 'sickies,' "The most important aspect of managing employee absences on or after Cup Day is ensuring that the rules for sick days or expectations for Cup Day are understood from the outset."

She says, "Ensure clear policies are in place upfront and that these are communicated to staff – including those relating to work on public holidays, notice of sick leave absences and the evidence that is required to support such absences. Inform staff in advance of the sick leave policy, including the requirement that they provide a medical certificate as evidence in relation to any absences on Cup Day or the following day."

The Fair Work Act and the National Employment Standards (NES) make it clear that employers can require notification from employees of any absence and evidence to support any personal leave they take.

WHEN DOES THE FUNCTION END?

It's not uncommon for a Melbourne Cup lunch or afternoon drink to quickly evolve into after work drinks; so, it is critical for employers to be clear with employees about the start and end times of the function. Ms Zamorano advises employers to, "Explicitly detail what times and where staff are expected to be. For example, "at 3.30 pm work resumes" or "staff may leave early after the race, but the work day ends when staff leave the office."

"The reason this is important is because events that occur outside the work function can still be an employer's responsibility such as workplace injuries, harassment claims and even criminal offences."

RESPONSIBLE GAMBLING.

While it's generally acceptable to have a "punt" in the betting sweeps, gambling is a particularly sensitive subject for certain people. Some cultural or religious groups have prohibitions on gambling as an activity. In other cases, a person may have experience with a gambling addiction. Ms Zamorano says employers should be mindful to ensure that these people are not forced, or negatively impacted.

"You cannot force employees to participate in social festivities, nor would that be an enjoyable experience for those involved. Many businesses host betting sweeps as part of Melbourne Cup celebrations and a number of people who don't normally gamble will participate on the day. However, employers should be mindful that some people may have genuine objections to gambling, horse racing or alcohol related events."

RESPONSIBLE SERVICE OF ALCOHOL.

Festivities always have an element of risk whether it be alcohol related or not. Employers have a duty of care towards employees and should not put their health or safety on the line at the event or after an event.

"Employers should be clear and transparent about their drug and alcohol policies setting out standards and expectations before, during, and after these events as well as being clear on the start and finish times of any employer run events. This will create a defined line as to when the event finished and therefore impact on the employer's responsibilities and obligations," she said.

 
Business Business & Economy Community Employment & Training
Social:   

Privately Submitted Article or Event :
See Above Article or Event for Address, Sunshine Coast Wide
Privately Submitted Article or Event
Showing 10+ recent articles for this business
Sunscreens users at risk of liver and kidney failure, says new study 22 January 2020 | A new study has found that sunscreen leaches up to 360 times more toxic chemicals into the blood than the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) allows, raising risks for liver and kidney failure. More information...
How to take control of your money in 2020 16 January 2020 | So, you’ve packed away the Christmas tree, put away the good silverware and finally taken the time to think about where you are headed financially for 2020. More information...
Madame Tussauds is offering a budding young creative the chance to experience life behind the scenes as a Mini Studios Assistant 13 January 2020 | Ever wondered what goes into creating the magic at the world's most renowned wax attraction? Madame Tussauds Sydney is on a nation-wide search for one lucky child to win the chance to be the attraction's first... More information...
BIG W Research Reveals Rising ‘Back to School’ Costs 13 January 2020 | Aussie families are expected to spend an average of $538 per child on school supplies and uniforms in 2020, representing a $62 or 13 per cent increase on last year, according to YouGov’s Annual Back to School... More information...
Tam Wrigley Leading Closet Clear Out To Raise Money For The Bush Fire Appeal 13 January 2020 | Media personality and Myer fashion ambassador Tamara Wrigley is holding a Fashion Fire Appeal on the Sunshine Coast to raise money for the Bush Fire Appeal. More information...
Federal Bushfire Royal Commission should not be called 08 January 2020 | Federal Royal Commission should not be called for the following reasons, call for focus to remain on fire service personnel and bushfire-affected communities amid catastrophic national bushfire crisis More information...
Winner of Australia’s leading sustainability award spotlights SDGs 04 December 2019 | A social, not-for-profit enterprise enabling progress towards 15 of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) has won gold at Australia’s foremost sustainability awards. More information...
World First: Australian extreme swimmer attempts to be the first person to swim the English Channel in winter this December 02 December 2019 | This December, 46 year old Sam Penny, extreme swimmer, cheese monger and father of four will push through the pain barrier of numbingly cold water, freezing winds and physical exhaustion in a bid to become the... More information...
Toys "R" Us reveals top 15 gifts for Aussie kids this Christmas 19 November 2019 | Santa has made his list, checked it twice, and released the top toys for children this Christmas - with some help from Geoffrey the Giraffe and his “elves” at Toys”R”Us. More information...
Rental Guarantees Create Losses For Property Investors 07 November 2019 | As our property downturn finally starts to turn around, investors are being enticed by “rental guarantee” sales packages.   More information...


comments powered by Disqus

All articles submitted by third parties or written by My Sunshine Coast come under our Disclaimer / Terms of Service