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Melbourne Cup: Should you really be celebrating?

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HC Online | 04 Nov 2013, 12:02 AM Agree 0
Many organisations celebrate Melbourne Cup Day – but have you considered that some of your staff may find it alienating and inappropriate?
  • MM | 04 Nov 2013, 02:33 PM Agree 0
    I'd rather "celebrate" the Melbourne Cup than Halloween, that's for sure!
  • Bernie Althofer | 04 Nov 2013, 03:01 PM Agree 0
    There are many and varied reasons why people become involved in 'celebrating' the Melbourne Cup, and for some it is seen as 'un-Australian'.

    That said, there needs to be awareness as highlighted above, that not all people in a workplace 'accept' a need to be involved. As some have indicated in the past, they have felt bullied into participating, and have felt guilty about not working when there has been a backlog.

    Issues such as this can polarise workplaces and managers need to understand the complexity of issues involved. Being treated as an outcast when one does not support these types of events is difficult.

    I suspect that what some people find difficult to accept is when people take some time away from their workplace to participate in the celebrations and this absence is not reflected in time sheets etc.
  • kevin | 04 Nov 2013, 03:11 PM Agree 0
    Simply those that participate need to tollerate those that don't and vice versa. I suggest that both groups should self manage themselves to avoid being convinced to join the other.
  • Bernie Althofer | 05 Nov 2013, 09:20 AM Agree 0
    It is not as if Melbourne Cup is not scheduled on an annual basis, so it should not be that difficult for organisations to plan around it.

    When any events occur regularly, work diaries should reflect this and this in turn could reduce any adverse comments, increased or unplanned workloads etc that lead to distress in some workers.

    Organisations that permit staff involvement need to consider the logistics of what is involved e.g. planning for food etc, rostering - people taking it in turns to eat and manage phones etc, shutting down the office for a short period whilst the race is on, and even those work related events that do not occur on site, but where staff are expected to return post event.

    There are many issues to consider and given that 'Cup Day' is part of the Australian fabric, it should not be that hard to plan early for the event to make sure everything runs smoothly and there are no no last minute contingencies e.g. someone forget it was Melbourne Cup day, no-one has ordered food etc.
  • Paul | 05 Nov 2013, 12:21 PM Agree 0
    “Some employees, due to religious or family values or simply because they’re not interested, may not wish to participate in elements of Melbourne Cup day, particularly gambling and drinking alcohol. Employers need to ensure they provide options for staff who may not wish to participate in race day celebrations – the choice of those who do not wish to be involved must be respected,”

    I think the employer handles this very well in most cases. It is called the employee continuing to do their job. Their choice is respected as they continue to do the job they are paid. How hard is that? If they do not want to drink, gamble or whatever else, they can continue to do their job.
  • Robyn Main | 09 Nov 2013, 04:21 PM Agree 0
    This year, deciding to re-claim the Cup for another purpose, I hosted an event called
    "The Race that Stopped the Nation That Stopped (some) Human Trafficking". It was a gambling alternative, non-al event at my home. We still did the sweep (donations going to A21) and had a few simple prizes and some girls watched the Cup. Instead though,we had lots of talk, eats and a photo album making demonstration by "Closer to Heart". We raised $150 for the A21 campaign (Stops human trafficking) and raised awareness about the issue by promoting a walk on Nov 23rd at McCallum Park, Perth.
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