The scandal hit men-only fundraiser has rightly provoked serious questions about the organisation of such events following high profile allegations of sexual misconduct.
Attendees at the now defunct President’s Club, which was raising funds for children’s charities, included senior figures in business and finance and also a Government Minister who left the event early.
As an employer, where would you stand if one of your staff went to an event like this? FBC Manby Bowdler Employment Partner Julia Fitzsimmons discusses:
The President’s Club debacle sends out very important messages to all employers, regardless of the size of your business.
Anyone attending these type of events as a corporate representative, even if they are outside working hours, links their company to the behaviour that goes on there.
While the President’s Club was an extreme case in point, sexist or racist behaviour could occur at many corporate or sportmen’s dinners that are attended by employees at all levels.
Employers would do well to remind staff that they must always consider the reputational impact on a business before accepting invitations to public or private events or accepting corporate hospitality.
Most businesses have written policies on the behaviour that is expected of staff in the workplace and it should be made clear that this extends to corporate supported functions.
A procedure to consider whether invitations will be accepted would be advisable and staff should be clear that any behaviour falling below expected standards will not be tolerated and may be treated as a disciplinary offence.
Examples of what kind of events would be supported and what constitutes unacceptable behaviour may help people understand the boundaries.
Based in our Telford office, Julia works with a range of agricultural, manufacturing and SME clients across Shropshire. She has acted for national and international businesses and Government departments and specialises in managing employee issues around business restructures.
For further advice on employment law or HR issues, please contact Julia on 01952 208420 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.