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Your top HR tips to get ready for the end of the year

With 2020 being a year no one will forget, no doubt you and your employees are looking forward to putting your feet up, connecting with your whānau and soaking up the summer sun.

With little over 5 weeks until Christmas, we’ve listed some quick employer reminders and tips to think about before you break.

Closing down your business over the break?

  • If you have an annual closedown on a regular basis, give your employee’s at least 14 days’ notice before the closedown commences.

  • Communicate early by outlining the dates of the closedown and being clear on which days are public holidays and which days will need to be taken as annual holidays (annual leave). Don’t forget to weave in some positive business messages and Christmas cheer as well (refer below)!

Having an end-of-year staff celebration?

  • We recommend communicating some reminders around behaviour expectations (such as linking to your code of conduct, drug and alcohol policies etc) to make clear what is expected.

  • Your employer's health and safety duties still generally apply, so ensure the venue is safe, provide ample food and non-alcoholic alternatives and consider a transport plan.

  • Lead by example and allocate an appropriate host (ie a Director) who can remain at the event until the end time.

  • Encourage a collective responsibility mindset by leveraging the team care aspect of all wanting to have a relaxing and fun time together.

Remaining purpose-led and values driven, some pre-Christmas actions to ponder

  • Instead of doing your usual secret Santa, pay it forward by asking your employees to donate gifts to a local charity (you choose or get them to elect one that aligns to your company values). Outline your why and provide a means to donate (ie donation boxes in the staff kitchen) and what you are going to contribute.

  • Put your diversity, equity and inclusion hat on and think about whether your celebrations are inclusive and culturally appropriate (ie not everyone believes in Christmas or drinks alcohol).

  • Thank and praise your employees for their efforts by sharing success stories and outlining hopes and the need for the team in 2021.

  • Weave in messages around personal wellbeing, reaching out and remaining safe (particularly in light of Covid-19). Not everyone will be surrounded by friends and family over the break. How can you stay connected?

Strong, clear and concise communication is a way to ensure your voice is heard and messages understood. If you need some assistance with your messages or need some advice around your obligations regarding annual closedowns and staff celebrations please get in contact with Karen at

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