Sky News Australia has confirmed a decision to replace the traditional Christmas parties with a far less festive office luncheon.
Last year’s Christmas festivities, which included an after-party event at Sydney’s Establishment Bar, were marred by an unfortunate incident involving Chris Smith, a prominent presenter at Sky News.
The incident, which began at the Ivy and later moved to the Establishment Bar, resulted in lewd remarks directed at a female staff member by Smith. This led to his eventual dismissal from the company.
“The person involved has been suspended while an investigation into the allegations is undertaken. The welfare of our staff is our absolute priority.
We have a zero-tolerance approach to inappropriate conduct and take these allegations very seriously.
There will be no further comment while the investigation is carried out,” a spokesperson from Sky News Australia stated to Media following the incident.
This incident was not the first of its kind involving Smith. Back in 2009, he faced suspension from his afternoon program at 2GB following allegations of misconduct at an office party. These repeated incidents have prompted a reassessment of the company’s approach to office gatherings and festive celebrations.
In response to these developments, Sky News Australia has advised its managers to refrain from endorsing post-luncheon drinking activities. This guidance aims to cultivate a safer and more inclusive environment for all employees, reinforcing the company’s stance on maintaining high standards of conduct.
This shift in policy at Sky News Australia is indicative of the broader changes in workplace culture, where companies are increasingly prioritising the well-being and safety of their employees.
By hosting office luncheons instead of traditional parties, Sky News is taking a proactive stance in preventing any inappropriate behaviour and ensuring a respectful and professional atmosphere during company events.